Your body needs sleep, just as it needs air and food to function at its best. During sleep, your body heals itself and restores its chemical balance. Your brain forges new thought connections and helps memory retention.
Without enough sleep, your brain and body systems won’t function normally. It can also dramatically lower your quality of life.
To save yourself from the effects of sleep deprivation look out for these 7 early signs.
You are craving sugar and carbs
Lack of sleep produces a hormone called Ghrelin. Ghrelin makes you hungry for fatty and sugary foods.
It’s also harder to stop eating. Lipton, the chemical that tells you when you are full, is reduced with less sleep.
Mornings Feel Crummy
Waking up with a sore throat, dry mouth, or headache could point to a medical reason you’re sleeping poorly, sleep apnea, snoring, or acid reflux, for example.
If you notice symptoms over and over, talk to your doctor. She can figure out if medication or other treatment would help you.
Your skin isn’t looking good
When you are sleep deprived, your cortisol levels spike.
This can dehydrate your skin and break down the collagen that keeps it firm. Thus making your skin look old.
You get sick easily
Do you sleep for less than 7 hours a night? Then you are nearly three time more likely to catch a cold than someone who sleeps for at least 8 hours.
You produce infection fighting proteins while you sleep. The less sleep you get, the weaker your defenses become.
Focus and Memory Feel Dim
Even a little less sleep, losing just 2 hours if you usually snooze 8 hours a night, can make you groggy and affect concentration and memory.
This may make you less skilled at work. Or worse, behind the wheel of your car. More than one-third of people admit dozing off while driving.
Your Eyes Don’t Look Good
Redness, puffiness and dark circles are all signs that you’re not getting enough shut eye. The sleep-deprived tend to get more wrinkles, lines, swelling, and droopiness, studies show.
Why? It may be that your body misses out on the hormone control and tissue repair that happens in deep sleep stages.
You are more emotional than usual
Study found that people who stayed awake for 35 hours Straight, are 60% more reactive to negative images.
Brain scans showed changes in the prefrontal lobe, the area of the brain that helps keep your emotions in check.