So, how are you feeling today? If you are feeling bright, energized, and raring to take on whatever life is going to throw at you, then you probably had the recommended amount of sleep last night, which according to sleep experts, is around 7-8 hours.
On the other hand, if you are feeling sluggish and tired, and have dozed off three times already while reading this opening paragraph, you may not have slept well at all.
Well, either that, or we are failing to hold your interest, in which case, sorry! However, if constant napping isn’t the only sign that you are sleep deprived (swiftly taking away the blame from ourselves), then you should do something about the problem. You see, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, you will eventually see or feel the consequences.
These are the signs that you aren’t getting enough sleep
#1: You’re not much fun to be around
According to researchers, a lack of sleep can negatively affect your mood. During the day, you might be grumpy, stressed, and irritable. You might wake up feeling low and then remain in a state of depression throughout the day.
You might snap at somebody for no reason, get anxious over small things, and become withdrawn because you don’t have the mental or physical energy to cope with others. A lack of sleep is damaging to your emotional health, so if you’re no fun to be around at the moment, possibly because of the issues we listed, then you do need to get back into a decent sleep pattern.
#2: You have mounting piles of work on your desk
A lack of sleep results in a lack of energy, and this is problematic, especially when you need to get things done in the day. This is especially true when you’re at work, as your employer won’t be very happy if you are failing to get your tasks done before the close of day.
When we are tired, everything seems like an effort, and when compounded with the next point, we might struggle to be effective in whatever we do.
#3: You find your phone in the fridge
Why is your phone in the fridge? We have no idea, but if you are sleep deprived, it might be because you are not thinking clearly. Sleep gives our brains the chance to refresh and reorganize itself, but when we don’t get enough z’s, we lose part of our usual cognitive ability.
We can become forgetful, make rash decisions, and do things without thinking, such as putting our phones in the fridge instead of the milk, and other crazy things because of sleep deprivation. We then struggle to function well at all, which will cause problems in both our personal and our working lives.
#4: You fall asleep in meetings
As we have already mentioned, a lack of sleep can cause you to nap during the day. This is especially true when you aren’t interested in something, such as when you’re sat in those boring meetings at work, or when your mind turns itself off when you’re watching something tedious on the television.
There are ways to kickstart your energy when you find yourself flagging, but the best thing you can do is get enough sleep at night, so your boss doesn’t berate you for constantly falling asleep when at your desk or during those insufferable meetings.
#5: You resemble the walking dead in the morning
You probably haven’t become a zombie overnight, but standing in front of the mirror in the morning, you might well consider otherwise after a night with little sleep. A lack of sleep causes your blood vessels to dilate, so you might notice dark, puffy circles around your eyes.
Your cortisone levels rise, meaning your skin will appear ashy and blotchy. And without the moisturizing effects of sleep, your skin will be dry and flaky. While you could spend the rest of the morning Googling What is the best eye cream for dark circles? and looking through your bathroom cabinets for the best concealer to make yourself look presentable, you should also make plans to get your beauty sleep from now on to avoid another shock in the mirror.
#6: You’re putting on the pounds
When you don’t get enough sleep, your body produces the hunger hormone called ghrelin, and this can make you crave unhealthy foods. So, rather than opt for the sensible food items in the fridge, you might reach for those comfort foods that aren’t particularly good for you. And as we have already discussed, a lack of sleep can inhibit your ability to think clearly, and that might counter the sensible choices you usually make when you’re in the supermarket or choosing foods from a menu.
#7: You are regularly calling in sick at work
If your boss hasn’t fired you already because of your constant nodding off at your desk, then he might be inclined to hand you your notice if you are taking more than the allowed number of sick days each year. You see, a lack of sleep can compromise your immune system, and this means you are more susceptible to infections, such as flu-type viruses as well as the common cold.
Of course, you might not be sick at all. If you wake up feeling tired and sluggish in the morning, you probably can’t be bothered to get out of bed and go to work in the first place. Either way, your employer will have concerns if they regularly receive that sniffly phone call.
#8: You regularly tell your partner “not tonight dear”
We are, of course, referring to s-e-x! While a lack of energy will keep you from your usual level of romance (you will be more interested in getting to sleep than anything else), a lack of sleep can also decrease your libido.
A healthy s-e-x life is vital for keeping the spark in a relationship, so while you don’t need to have fun under the covers every night, there may be long-term problems in your relationship if you regularly turn down time with your significant other.
#9: You read the last paragraph more than once
The last paragraph may have been so interesting that you felt compelled to read it more than once. In which case, hoorah; at least you aren’t nodding off while reading! On the other hand, you may have read it several times because you are having difficulty concentrating.
As we have already discussed, a lack of sleep can play havoc with your mental faculties, and this includes your ability to comprehend anything you are reading, watching, or listening to. Not only will the words you’re trying to pay attention to mean nothing to you when you’re tired, but you will forget them too when your brain struggles to retain them.
#10: You cry at the drop of a hat
Of course, you might have Marley and Me playing on a loop on your television, in which case we sympathize with you. On the other hand, you might be crying for no real reason, as your emotions may be out of control. According to studies, sleep deprivation makes it harder to keep your emotions in check.
So, if you are crying, laughing, or getting anxious irrationally, it’s probably because you need to restore your brain’s emotional circuits by getting more sleep.
Have you related to what we have said? Have you reread this article a dozen times? Have we made you weep and you have no idea why? Are you reading this from your sick bed? If so, then you are probably suffering from a lack of sleep. Use these tips to help you sleep better, and then make it a habit to get the right amount of sleep each night. Your personal and your work life depends upon it!