Getting enough sleep every night does not happen very often in this day and age. Whether it is a girls’ night out or a presentation that needs to be completed for work, it is common practice to sacrifice that much-needed date with our bed. Skimping sleep for a day or two might not do us much harm, but not getting enough sleep for a few weeks? Our body could be complaining about the effects of sleep deprivation with subtle signs that we mostly ignore.
Always hungry and eating?
Being sleep deprived means more than just feeling tired. Poor sleep decreases production of the hormone leptin (satiety hormone), which tells your brain you’ve had enough to eat. Lesser leptin leads to a constant feeling of hunger and a general slowdown of your metabolism. A sleep-deprived body can also increase production of the hungry hormone known as ghrelin. When the signals to stop eating are all messed up, you end up feeling hungry and eating more. You will be more impulsive and probably find it harder to say no to a double cheeseburger which obviously leads to weight gain. *cries*
Poor cognitive skills
Forgot where you placed those car keys or if you popped those pills this morning? It could be a sign of sleep deficiency! It is during sleep that the brain restores itself, preparing us for the next day’s activities. A lack of sleep leads to a slowed down brain which can cause poor attention and short memory! These side effects of sleep deprivation affects students and executives that are very much dependent on their brain power. Sleep deprivation can also affect speed and higher level processing such as making decisions at work. So if you have made some bad decisions at work, it could be your brain complaining of insufficient rest.
Your emotions are all over the place
When you’re tired, it is common to lose control of emotions in which you easily overreact towards emotional stimuli. It becomes easier to lash out at somebody who accidentally said the wrong thing. Or, it can be quite the opposite when you become overjoyed at incidents that happen on a daily basis.
You’re unusually clumsy
It’s normal that we sometimes lose balance and coordination of our limbs, but if it happens a few times in a day or if you have butterfingers, then it can be a sign you’re sleep deprived. Lack of sleep leads to a tired brain. This equals a slower response and thus delayed movements.
You get sick easily
Sleep quality is often an important predictor of immunity. The immune system produces proteins and antibodies that fight off infections from foreign substances like bacteria and viruses. These protective substances also help you sleep, giving the immune system more energy to defend against illnesses. A sleep-deprived body does not have a chance to build up its defensive forces and it could also be the reason why you can’t seem to shake off a common cold. Long term effects of sleep deprivation also include a higher risk of developing chronic illnesses like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
Bad skin condition
There is plenty of truth behind the phrase “beauty sleep”. Some people have perpetual skin problems due to a lack of sleep. Sleep deprivation throws off skin balance and causes common problems like dryness, dull complexion, pimple breakouts and dark eye circles! Maintain that glow with a complete beauty regime that includes ample sleeping time, good skincare products and an active lifestyle.
Finding the right sleep habits
Sleep deprivation symptoms can be felt in many ways, but luckily the best way to cure them is by getting enough sleep. Experts generally recommend 7-9 hours of sleep for adults and more for growing children while less is expected among the elderly. Every individual has their own sleep patterns and habits. Some adults can function well with 6 hours a day while 8 hours make them groggy. Therefore, it is important to find that balance and be consistent with your sleep. Instead of building a sleep deficit (also known as sleep debt), tuck in early tonight and enjoy the rest!