Are you getting enough sleep? Perhaps, your daily routine doesn’t afford you the luxury to get a decent amount of kip, or maybe you like to stay up late watching Netflix. Regardless of your daily routine, work schedule and habits, sleep is important. If you don’t get enough, your body operates under stress and this is not conducive to maintaining good health.
Sleep affects your mood. If you are highly irritable, then this could be a sign that you need more rest. A study has shown that when people are limited to 4-5 hours of sleep a night for a week, they become more stressed, angry and mentally exhausted. When the participants returned to their normal sleep routine, their mood improved.
Lack of Focus
When you don’t get enough sleep, you may feel groggy and this can have a significant effect on your ability to focus. You may find it harder to execute simple tasks and simple routines may feel like hard work. Lapses in focus brought on by sleep deprivation can result in accidents or injuries. A good night’s sleep is vital for learning, focus and memory.
Weaker Immune System
Your immune system is affected by sleep. Sleep deprivation suppresses immune system function and this could increase your chances of developing a cold or the flu. If you constantly find yourself waking up in the morning with a headache, sore throat etc. then this can be an indicator that you are sleeping poorly.
Craving Junk Food
A sleep-deprived brain is more likely to crave unhealthy foods. Perhaps this is because we are not able to make optimal judgments and decisions when we are tired. Researchers have conducted a study looking into the effects of acute and chronic sleep deprivation on eating behaviour. They found a well-established correlation between increased energy consumption and sleep deprivation.
Research has shown that inadequate sleep is a risk factor for obesity. With an increased appetite for junk food, it comes as no surprise that another symptom of sleep deprivation would be weight gain. A good night’s sleep means that your body can control the hormones ghrelin and leptin which affect how hungry you feel. Without this regulation, you may feel the need to eat more than necessary. Furthermore, when you sleep well, your body’s metabolism is regulated. However, infrequent or poor sleep can reduce your fat cell’s ability to respond to insulin by 30%.
You Eyes Look Tired
Dark circles, bags and puffiness around your eyes are all signs that you are not sleeping enough. Melatonin is a hormone released when it gets dark. This hormone is considered to be the body’s natural pacemaker and plays a vital role in your sleep-wake cycle. If you aren’t sleeping enough, your body misses out on tissue repair which occurs during deep sleep stages and leaves you looking worse for wear.
If you’re not catching enough zzz’s, your skin may start to show signs of breaking out. A lack of sleep will promote stress and this causes cortisol – a stress hormone – to be released in the body. Dr. Gil Yosipovitch is a professor of Dermatology and suggests that stress-related inflammation may be to blame for acne breakouts.