Let’s face it. Sleep loss is slowly becoming an everyday part of our culture. It has even been glorified as a sign of being dedicated to a job. And yet, it could be one of the leading contributors to the nation’s health crisis. Lack of sleep has been linked to health issues like diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and stroke. Are you sleep deprived? Here are some signs:
Lack of sleep can cause problems with the production of the hormone leptin, which controls when your body feels “full.” This can lead to perpetually feeling hungry, constant snacking, weight gain, and craving fried foods and candy.
A sleep deprived mind operates in a fog, because your brain is telling you to go to bed. This hazy feeling coupled with a lack of energy can lead to having trouble making good decisions and simply snapping to the first impulsive choice presented to you.
Another side effect of the foggy, sleep-deprived brain is a decrease in memory function. It goes after your short-term memory first, leading to confusion and dropped names, dates, etc. But prolonged sleep deprivation can have a negative impact on your long-term memory as well.
If you can’t shake a cold, it could be a sign that you’re suffering from sleep deprivation. The immune system produces cytokines while you sleep. These proteins help protect you from germs and infections. In fact, a study done by the Archives of Internal Medicine showed that people who slept under 7 hours/night were 3 times more likely to catch a cold, and had a more difficult time shaking it off.
Sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on those little ciliary muscles that help your eyes track and focus. If you’ve been losing sleep, then blurry vision and headaches brought on from the inability to focus could be a side effect.
If any of these symptoms describe you, try getting a solid 8-9 hours of sleep every night for a week. Chances are you’ll feel much better.