How do you know when you’re not getting enough sleep?
When we sleep, our body goes into maintenance mode, and if you’re not getting enough shut eye, then you may find that you’re suffering from the following:
1. You have the concentration span of a gnat
There is nothing worse than having to struggle through the day with brain fog. You are trying your hardest to function, but you can’t seem to concentrate and end up doing many things badly. May be you’re in a meeting trying to concentrate on who’s speaking, you’re staring at them so hard, you get double vision and really all you want to do is hide under your desk and go for a kip.
When you don’t get enough deep sleep, your brain hasn’t been able to flush out all the toxins and harmful proteins, which causes the foggy feeling.
2. You pick up every bug that’s going
If you keep getting every cough, cold or virus that’s going around, it means your immune system is suppressed.
Sleep is really important for a fully functioning immune system, as cells and antibodies which fight infections decrease when we don’t get enough. Your recovery from illness may take longer too.
3. Carbs have become your friend and you’re putting on weight
Lack of sleep makes you hungry! Your body wants energy and it wants it now, and the quickest way to do that is to fill you with carbs. You will naturally be drawn to cakes, biscuits, crisps, sandwiches – anything you can get your hands on!
What causes this? Two hormones – ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin stimulates your appetite and leptin tells you when you’ve full. When you’ve not had enough beauty sleep, the amount of ghrelin increases making you hungry and leptin decreases, which means you’re not going to get the “I’ve had enough” signal.
4. You continually wake up wanting to hit the snooze button
This means something is definitely upsetting your sleep pattern, when you get the right amount of good quality sleep, you will wake up refreshed.
If you’re suffering from a health issue, have aches and pains or take medication, those will definitely disrupt your sleep. But if it is none of those, try and work out what it is, may be your sleep routine is out of kilter.
5. You feel like you’re drunk, but there was no alcohol involved
After 17 – 19 hours without sleep you are the equivalent of being drunk. Your concentration becomes impaired; you feel you can’t string a sentence together; may be you find it difficult to focus and your reaction times seem slower. If this happens night after night and you are behind the wheel of a car, you have the same lack of awareness as a drunk driver.
The scary thing is that 1 in 5 road traffic accidents in the UK are caused by fatigue. 25% of those are either serious or fatal. Even scarier in the USA every second someone falls asleep while driving!
What can you do?
- Find out what’s causing your sleep problem and do something about it.
- Get back in to a healthy bedtime routine.
- Listen to your body and be more in sync with your body clock.