Are You Getting Enough Sleep?
“Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our body together.” – Thomas Dekker
You know that sleep is essential to your health and well-being. And you do your best to get the proper amount of sleep each night. But, are you really getting enough?
Sometimes the signs that you’re not getting enough rest are not readily apparent. In fact, you might not even recognize some of them as signs of sleep deprivation – but they just may be. Here are some signs to watch for if you think you’re not getting enough sleep.
- Acne Breakouts: You may not have had an acne breakout since you were a teenager, but if you’re having them as an adult, it could be due to lack of sleep. Doctors believe a lack of sleep can have a negative effect on your hormones, which then results in breakouts.
- Take a Look at Your Eyes: This sign is a bit more obvious and one you probably look for when you are not sleeping well. You may notice that your eyes are red, puffy, or have dark circles underneath them. You may also notice more wrinkles, droopy eyelids, or swelling.
- Weight Gain: This sign has been the topic of many recent studies. Researchers have found a link between sleep and the hormones leptin and ghrelin. These two hormones affect how hungry you feel, and without proper sleep, they seem not to be as well-regulated. This can lead to weight gain as you feel the need to eat more.
- Junk Food Craving Increase: Have you ever experienced a restless night’s sleep and woke up to find that you are craving junk food? It’s not your imagination. When your brain is tired, it wants those unhealthy foods. It could be because your focus and decision-making skills are not as sharp and you are more prone to give in to the cravings.
- Using Caffeine to Cope: This is another sign that comes as no surprise. When you are tired, you may tend to consume more caffeine in order to cope. Sure, caffeine can give you a quick energy boost, but continued use of it may help to contribute to your lack of sleep, too.
- You’re In a Bad Mood: You may notice that you feel more stressed, angry, irritable, sad, or depressed when you lack sleep. Getting a good night’s rest can help return you to your healthy, happy self.
- Diminished Focus and Memory: When you’re tired, you may find that you lack focus and that your memory is not as sharp as when you are adequately rested.
- Physical Symptoms: If you wake up with a headache, dry mouth, or a sore throat, you may be suffering from a medical reason that is preventing you from sleeping. Sleep apnea, snoring, acid reflux, and bruxism (teeth grinding) can all cause you to have a poor night’s sleep. You may need to see a doctor to treat some of these issues.
If you’re experiencing any (or all) of these symptoms, it may be time to take a look at how you’re sleeping. Getting a better night’s rest can help alleviate these symptoms and have you leading a much more productive and happy life.