Getting enough sleep each night is important for your physical and mental well-being. When you sleep, your body heals itself and restores its chemical balance.
Without sufficient sleep, your brain and body systems cannot function normally. Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and depression.
Seven to nine hours of sleep is usually recommended for adults. So how can you tell if you’re getting the sleep you need? Here are eight signs to look out for that may indicate you’re not getting enough.
You are moody and ZZZ
Lack of proper sleep can make you moody, emotional, and irritable. You overreact to situations that didn’t bother you before, and do or say things without thinking.
You tend to get stressed, angry and impatient, and lash out or start arguments for little reason. People don’t enjoy being around you.
You are forgetful
When you are asleep, your brain works on processing information from the day and forming memories. When you don’t get enough sleep, memory formation is impaired, and you struggle to recall facts and information.
You may then tend to forget simple things like your work passwords or where you placed your keys, and your ability to perform routine tasks at work becomes more difficult.
You are sleepy during the day
If you are not getting enough sleep at night, you’re more likely to feel sleepy the next day. You may feel especially tired in the afternoon and have trouble staying awake.
When you fall asleep for a few seconds without even knowing, it’s called micro-sleep. It’s your body’s way of forcing you to get the rest you need. Microsleep can be very dangerous if you happen to be driving. It can also make you more prone to injury due to trips and falls.
You are always hungry (and gain weight)
Less sleep may make you hungrier than usual. This is because, not getting enough sleep messes with the hormones that control your hunger levels, leptin and ghrelin. Leptin makes you feel full, while ghrelin makes you feel hungry.
Lack of sleep causes leptin to decrease and the hunger hormone ghrelin to increase, which causes you to eat more often, especially fried foods and sweets.
Moreover, less sleep can also make you feel too tired to exercise. With a decrease in physical activity and an increase in the amount of food intake, you’re likely to gain weight.
You have poor balance
Lack of sleep leaves your brain tired, so it can’t perform its duties as well. This can affect your balance and coordination and increase your risk of falls and other physical accidents.
You may tend to spill your coffee more often, trip over power cords, fall down stairs, and even be involved in car accidents due to poor reaction time.
You have trouble concentrating
The less sleep you get, the more tired your brain is, and the more difficult it is for you to concentrate or think clearly. You may find it tough to remember things, make quick decisions, and solve problems.
This can affect your performance and productivity at work, and also your ability to drive or carry out other tasks.
You get sick more often
While you are sleeping, your immune system produces cytokines, which are proteins that fight against the bacteria and viruses that cause illness and infection.
If you don’t get enough sleep, your immune system gets weakened, increasing your chance of catching colds and other ailments.
You look older than you should
When you sleep, your body repairs damaged cells, so a lack of proper sleep can affect how your skin looks, especially on the face.
Your face may tend to have more acne, develop more wrinkles and lines, and appear dull and unhealthy, making you look older. Redness, puffy eyes, dark circles and bags under eyes are all signs that you’re not getting enough sleep.
(Read more about How to Manage Sleep Problems Naturally)
Disclaimer: All material on Hidoc.co is provided for informational purposes only and should not be taken as a substitute for professional medical or health advice. Always seek the advice of your physician for any questions regarding your symptoms or medical condition and before taking any home remedies or supplements.