6 Unexpected Signs You're Not Getting Enough Sleep
Any number of things can stand between you and a good night’s sleep. If you're burning the midnight oil to complete an assignment on time, a bout of (short-lived, hopefully) exhaustion comes with the territory.
Sometimes it’s obvious that you shouldn’t have stayed up so late. (Netflix Originals, we're looking at you.) But other times, you feel lethargic for no reason at all. Here are some of the giveaway signs that you need to make those 8 hours a priority (even more so than that true crime doco... sorry) and if these issues persist, the first port of call should always be your GP, who will be able to advise a correct treatment plan.
Lack of sleep can leave you with a bad case of the munchies. If your body isn’t well-rested it will produce more of the hunger hormone, ghrelin, which causes sugar and carb cravings. Your body is looking for a quick fix in the shape of an energy boost, which explains your penchant for the sweet stuff when a good night's sleep has skipped you.
If you find that your alcohol tolerance has diminished, it might be related to a lack of sleep. When a casual glass of red here and there makes you feel straight-up boozed, you might want to look at your sleep patterns, for starters.
Dropping the Ball
Sleep loss can impact your motor skills. As your concentration and reaction times are also likely to be impaired, it should come as no surprise if you are more clumsy than usual when you haven't slept.
You're Falling Asleep Quickly
Studies have shown that the average person takes seven minutes to fall asleep – when they are actually trying to nod off. If you're nodding off even faster than that – even when you haven’t intended to – your body is waving a red flag and telling you that you need more rest.
And Always Feeling Under the Weather
Is your immune system suffering? As you sleep, your body produces cytokines (proteins) which are vital for a healthy immune system. With insufficient sleep, you will find it much harder to fight off infections and you could take longer to recover from any bouts of illness.
Is your usually complexion blighted by spots and pimples? Sleep deprivation will promote the production of the stress hormone cortisol which aggravates inflammatory skin conditions and the bad news doesn’t end there. The blemishes which erupt can lead to a loss of collagen and hyaluronic acid, resulting in dull and luck-lustre skin. It's a cruel reminder, we know.
Now that we’re on the topic, here are 10 simple ways to enhance the quality of your sleep – starting from tonight! – plus the reason why you crave more sleep in the cold.
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