You probably know your body well enough to understand when you’re tired. You feel sluggish, unproductive, and those circles under your eyes may become more pronounced than usual. But do you know the difference between tiredness and being seriously sleep-deprived? Watch out for these warning signs that may indicate that you’re skimping on your shut-eye way too often.
You’re Having Difficulty Making Decisions
If you’ve been finding it increasingly difficult to manage your tasks and responsibilities, lack of sleep could be to blame. This is because your cognitive processing is impacted by sleep deprivation. You may also have difficulty with functions such as time management and problem-solving. Your decision-making abilities will be severely affected, and you’ll have trouble with even the most straightforward choices when you miss out on your z’s regularly.
You’re Putting on Weight
Studies have shown that people who are sleep-deprived are more likely to be overweight. A lack of shut-eye brings down levels of the hormone leptin, which is an appetite suppressor. In addition, it elevates levels of the hunger-stimulating hormone ghrelin. When you’re not getting enough shut-eye, you also put yourself at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes — a metabolic disorder that is brought on by obesity and overeating.
Your Stress Levels Are Through the Roof
When you’re missing out on sleep, your brain’s ability to process emotions is affected adversely. You may find yourself misreading social situations and making bad decisions, leading to intense stress. It also results in a reduced amount of self-control. The prefrontal cortex which is the region of the brain involved with emotional responses stops functioning the way it should. This could affect your performance at work and impact your relationships with others.
You Fall Ill Often
Reduced immunity is a direct result of not getting enough sleep. People who sleep for less than seven hours a night are more prone to catching colds and other infections. Sleep deprivation reduces your white blood cells which fight infections, and your existing cells are likely to be less efficient.
You’ve probably heard that 8 hours of sleep is an ideal amount. However, everyone is different, and you may need more or less than this. It is important to know how much slumber you need as an individual to determine if you’re deprived. Consistently getting the best possible amount of sleep you need will ensure that you’re focused, alert, and in a great mood to handle all of your daily tasks.
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