Do you always find yourself yawning even after having your daily dose of coffee? Do you feel like a drunkard who had multiple shots of tequila even if you didn’t even taste a bit of alcohol? If you answer yes in all those questions, then there is a massive chance that you are one of the many candidates receive the award of being sleep deprived.
Sleep deprivation is when an individual fails to get enough amount of sleep recommended for his/her age. It is a common problem in society, especially in today’s generation when all the distraction (namely smartphones, social media, and work) are available 24/7.
If you have been sleeping through the night but don’t feel like it, you are probably sleep-deprived. If you are still in denial, below are some of the most common signs showing that you badly need to catch some Zzz.
You are always hungry
It is because sleep deprivation increases the production of a hormone called Ghrelin responsible for your cravings for fatty and sugary foods. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the lack of sleep also reduces the production of a body chemical called leptin. It is responsible for letting your body know that you are already full. Because of this, you tend to overeat to feel awake and alert.
You are now clumsier than ever
Although a little clumsiness can add cuteness to your character, stumbling and falling all the time is not adorable and not safe for your health. A 1997 research found out that a single sleepless night can lead a person to have the same hand and eye coordination like a legally drunk person.
You lack focus
In relation to being clumsy, losing your concentration even on simple things is another way of telling that you badly need to get a nap. Lack of sleep also prevents you from making rational decisions on important matters.
Low immune system
Many think that sleep of our body’s way to temporarily shut down to take a rest. But the truth is, there are lots of repair happening within our body the moment we shut our eyes.
One example would be the production of cytokines in our immune system. This particular protein which active production takes when we are asleep helps to protect our body against infection and inflammation. So the more we skip on our regular rest, the less we produce our body’s natural defence to a virus.
A 2009 study in the Archives of Internal Medicine shows that people are more likely to develop a cold if they have less than seven hours of sleep. Ideally, we should have eight hours of sleep a day, even an hour less of sleep can make a huge difference to our body.
You get highly emotional
We all know for a fact that lack of sleep affects your mood. You tend to become more irritated, short-tempered, and generally emotional. It is because sleep deprivation leads to having increased amygdala or the emotional rapid-response center of the brain. When this happens, our negative emotions, like fear and anger, triggered during intense situations.
Your skin reacts
Our skin has its natural way of repairing damaged cells when we are asleep; it is called “beauty rest” for a reason. Therefore, not getting enough sleep ruins the process of skin repair leading to blemishes and breakouts.
Lack of rest will not only cause your skin reactions; it will also make you look older. Recurring sleep deprivation also decreases our body’s production of collagen, which results in the appearance of wrinkles.
You become a micro-sleeper
If you think that you’re a “good sleeper” just because you tend to fall asleep easily anytime, anywhere, think again. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, being able to fall fast asleep when resting your head or shutting down your eyes within five minutes means you’re sleep deprived and have higher chances of having a sleep disorder.
Micro-sleeping is your body’s way of forcing you to take a rest. It is not only dangerous to your health, but also a threat to your safety. You can easily fall asleep on situations when you need to be alert like driving.
Your memory is off
Do you always catch yourself going inside the bedroom and forgot why you went there in the first place? Yup, it is caused by sleep deprivation. Lack of proper rest leads us to consolidate our memories, which can also be crucial for the health of our brain in the future.
Sex drive is nowhere to be found
You often pass out the minute you lie on the bed and forget that aside from sleep, the bed is also for sexy time. It is because sleep deprivation causes low energy, fatigue, and sleepiness, making you want to prioritize sleep than intimate moments.
Coffee is no longer your best friend
Some people treat coffee as their ultimate wake up call. Caffeine is supposed to give you more energy, wake you up, and jump-start your day, but if it makes you feel tired and sleepy, then you need to catch up on some sleep.
How to conquer sleep deprivation?
Aside from having a balanced diet and active lifestyle, one way to avoid sleep deprivation is through the help of quality weighted blankets. Through its Deep Touch Pressure (DTP) feature, weighted blankets will give you the feeling of getting a much-needed warm hug to help you relax and have a good night’s sleep.
A quality weighted blanket is made of soft fabric filled with stuffing like beads, pellets, and disc to have an added weight ranging from 4 to 25 pounds. Ideally, a weighted blanket should be at least 10% of your body weight.
Research shows that the huge hug feels from a weighted blanket helps ease anxiety and stress. It also helps in the production of serotonin, a chemical which aids in relaxation leading us to sleep like a baby.