To Top

5 Physical and Mental Signs That Your Body Needs More Sleep

Normally, one third of a person’s day is devoted to work and another one third should be devoted to sleep. However, there are some instances when an office project might push you to work more hours than usual. Sometimes, a movie marathon might get you up until the wee hours of the morning before you even notice the time.

We have all been in this situation. While staying up late once in a while will not have any harmful effects, it is when you lack sleep night after night that your health could be at risk. You might think that you are healthy enough with your five-hours-a-night sleeping habit. But there is a reason why science says we need at least 8 hours of slumber a day. Sleep deprivation has been tied with numerous ailments including obesity, cardiovascular disease, and depression. When your body starts sending you signals, you need to take heed.  Here are some visible signs that you need more time in bed.

You are always hungry

Chris Winter MD, owner of Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine in Virginia, says that if your brain is not getting the energy needed from sleep, it will try to compensate by getting it from food. Running low on rest can increase your body’s production of ghrelin, which is known as the “hunger hormone.” If you produce a lot of ghrelin, this can activate cravings for food that are rich in fat and sugar.

Poor sleep can also cause an imbalance in your leptin levels. This is why when you are not sleeping properly, you have a tendency to eat more because you do not get the signals to stop eating.

You Are Always Cranky

When a baby starts to get irritable and cry, it might be time for a nap. While this pattern has been observed for decades, humans actually never grow out of it. A study from Harvard Medical School has shown a strong connection between sleep disorders and mental health. Thus, the more tired you are the crankier and irritable you become. Worse, this might not stop until you get your well-deserved break. When you become less equipped to handle stress, you can develop a slew of health disorders such as depression and anxiety.

Your Workouts Are Suffering

when you have not been crushing it at the gym as usual, this might mean that you are exhausted. While fitness experts recommend periods of prolonged rest, or a “deload week,” it might mean something else when that week turns into a month.

Being exhausted can cause every aspect of your life to suffer, and this can be more visible when you exert yourself, like in workouts. You require mental clarity and focus when you exercise and your brain might fall behind because you are not well rested. This will limit your ability to challenge your body. This is just one of many performance consequences that are associated with lack of sleep.

You Are Forgetful

Did you leave the rice cooker on again or ran to work and forgot your most important papers for the day? This could simply mean that you lack rest. Being sleep deprived can mess with your memory.

Enough sleep leads to memory consolidation and emotional processing. If you lack rest, it will be harder for you to form memories.

You Are Gaining Weight

You might laugh off your cravings when it happens once in a while, but your sleep deprivation might be more serious than you think it is when you start gaining weight. This is because when you are tired, you are no longer too mindful of what you are eating. This is also when you try to compensate by feeding yourself with all kinds of things in a vain effort to keep yourself awake. With your ghrelin and leptin levels already out of control, your body will crave unhealthy foods to try to get through the day.

Do you know of any other signs that might tell you that you lack sleep? How do you effectively manage to get through a day when you are sleep deprived? Let us know in the comments below!


More in Treatment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login