9 Warning Signs That You’re Sleep Deprived
There’s no better feeling than waking up refreshed and ready to take on your day, but what happens when you forfeit sleep for other activities?
According to doctors and sleep experts, the effects of sleep deprivation go well beyond just mid-day yawns and feeling groggy. People that don’t get a full night of sleep can be faced with some pretty scary consequences, such as emotional disturbances, feeling delirious, and even hallucinations.
But how do you know when you’ve gone past just needing some more sleep into the realm of sleep deprivation?
These 9 warning signs can be key indicators that you’re in some serious need of sleep!
1) Unexplained Weight Gain
If you’ve noticed that you’ve packed on some pounds lately, and can’t figure out why, lack of sleep could be to blame. When you’re overtired, you tend to not watch what you’re eating, and your metabolism can also be thrown out of whack by hormonal imbalances caused by missing out on quality sleep. Your body could also be trying to replace the energy that it’s missing from not getting enough sleep by taking in more food than usual.
2) Impulsive Choices
Not paying attention to what you eat is not the only poor choice that can be made when you’re missing out on sleep. You may also find yourself lashing out at friends and family, as people that are exhausted tend to act without thinking, and have fewer inhibitions.
3) Memory Loss
If you find yourself unable to remember what time your next meeting is or when you told your friend you would meet them for coffee, sleep deprivation could be to blame. Studies have shown that sleep helps to clear toxins from the brain, allowing your nervous system to function properly, and not getting enough of it can manifest in the loss of short-term memory.
4) Trouble Making Decisions
Along the same lines, if you’re having trouble functioning at work and making decisions on the fly, poor sleep could be the culprit. Sleep deprivation can negatively affect higher-level cognitive functions and cause you to slow down to almost a crawl when it comes to making choices or solving problems.
5) More Prone to Accidents
Tripping over your own feet more than usual? Blame poor motor skills due to (you guessed it) lack of sleep. Lowered reaction time and neurological functioning are sure signs that you’re not getting enough quality sleep.
6) Overly Emotional
Finding yourself reacting much more strongly to things that would normally never bother you definitely points to not getting enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can cause stronger reactions to emotional stimuli, and create anxiety, sadness, anger, and even unexplained giddiness.
7) Poor Immunity
Can’t seem to shake that cold that’s been going around? You need more sleep! Studies have shown that people that get less than seven hours of sleep a night are up to three times more likely to have a weak immune system and be unable to fight off illness.
8) Vision Issues and Headaches
Lack of sleep can also weaken the muscles that control your vision, causing it to be more difficult to read up close. This will lead to you over compensate by refocusing your eyes, which leads to headaches and even blurred vision.
9) Nodding Off
If you find yourself nodding off throughout the day, you’re experiencing what sleep experts call “micro-sleep,” which is essentially your body taking over and causing you to sleep, whether you like it or not. This can be very dangerous, especially when driving, and is a definite sign that you need to focus on getting more sleep.
If you find yourself experiencing any of these warning signs, your best bet is to work on getting a better quality of sleep, which can often be as easy as setting up a nightly bedtime routine, or even finding yourself a more supportive and comfortable mattress. If you still find yourself having trouble sleeping, be sure to talk to your doctor about what you can do to get the sleep that you need!