If you work hard all day and lead a hectic lifestyle, you may attribute the fact that you fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow to your busy schedule. These behaviors, however, could mean that you are one of the 50 to 70 million Americans who are chronically sleep deprived.
Related Blog: 9 Side Effects Of Sleep Deprivation
Signs of Sleep Deprivation:
Most adults require seven to nine hours of sleep each night to function at their best; however, your individual needsay vary. If your sleep consistently falls on the lower end of the spectrum, you may still be sleep deprived, but typically your body needs closer to nine hours of sleep in order to recharge properly after a long day.
The following are five signs indicating that you may need more sleep:
You constantly feel hungry.
When you do not get enough sleep, your brain will look to alternative sources for the energy that it needs to function. In most cases, this is going to be food. Sleep deprivation triggers the body to increase its production of the hunger hormone ghrelin. At the same time, the body decreases its production of the hormone leptin that helps you feel full and satisfied.
You are clumsier than normal.
Even just one night of insufficient sleep can negatively affect neurological function resulting in slower reaction times and impaired movement ability. A 1997 study showed that moderate fatigue can result in the same level of psychomotor impairment as being legally drunk.
You catch every cold going around the office.
A lack of sleep can interfere with your body's immune system. This is because the body produces proteins called cytokines while you sleep that help the body fight off infections. A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that individuals who get less than seven hours of sleep a night are three times more likely to catch a cold than individuals who get at least eight hours of sleep a night.
Your skin doesn't look as good as it should.
Sleep deprivation disrupts the skin's natural repair and rejuvenation process that occurs while you are sleeping. Your body may produce less collagen, which means more wrinkles. Hormone levels also shift, which means more breakouts.
Your speech changes.
When you do not get enough sleep, you may start to use more simplistic clichés or speak in a slurred or monotone fashion. This is because sleep deprivation negatively impacts the function of the frontal lobe of the brain. This is the portion of the brain that controls speech, constructive thinking, and creativity.
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