If you don’t get enough sleep, sleep deprivation can have many negative effects on your health. Indeed, according to research, sleep-deprived people are as bad as, or even worse than, intoxicated people in tests of hand-eye coordination and driving ability. So, it’s no surprise that one of the main causes of accidents and deaths is drowsiness.
However, how can you tell whether or not you are getting enough sleep as the need for sleep varies from individual to individual? Some may need eight or nine hours per night, some even more, and some may not lack sleep after only sleeping for about five or six hours. So, how can you tell whether or not you are sleep-deprived? Just answer the following questions:
- Are you feeling drowsy throughout the day?
- After lying down in bed, do you fall asleep within five minutes?
If you answered positively to either of these, the chances that you are deprived of sleep or suffer from a sleep disorder (like sleep apnea, insomnia, restless legs syndrome, sleepwalking, etc.) are high.
In addition, here’s a brief list of other common sleep deprivation symptoms:
Microsleeps are also a symptom of sleep deprivation. They are bursts of sleep happening during the day which are so short and transient that you may not notice that they occur.
- Acne Issues
One of the three major acne triggers is sleep deprivation. Lack of sleep disrupts hormones and the chemical balance of the skin, thus resulting in acne.
- Dark Circles
According to research, your mouth, forehead, and eyes can tell a lot about your sleep. That said, if you have dark circles and puffy eyes it means you are lacking sleep.
- Weight Gain
Gaining a few extra pounds during a period of lacking sleep is no surprise. Namely, as sleeping less than six hours a night harms the hormonal balance, the risk of obesity remarkably increases.
- Junk Food Cravings
Furthermore, when your body lacks sleep, it craves higher-calorie foods. And, salty and sugary snacks, as well as junk food, are packed with calories, so the link makes total sense.
- Increased Caffeine Intake
Similar to junk food, your body needs more caffeine when tired. But, after several days of sleep deprivation, caffeine may do little to help you wake up so you increase the intake significantly.
- Crankiness and Stress
Feeling cranky and more stressed out after a night of poor sleep is normal. But, this turns into a vicious circle because stress won’t let you easily fall asleep at night, so it goes and goes on.
Another mental health issue connected to inadequate sleep is depression. Similar to stress, depression can also cause poor sleep and be caused by lack of sleep. Just another vicious circle.
- Concentration and Memory Issues
Lack of sleep affects your cognitive ability too. The reason is that memory is linked to REM and non-REM phases of sleep, while concentration is associated with fragmented sleep and insomnia.
- Vision Problems
Finally, if you have to pick out visual details, you may find the task challenging when sleep deprived. Plus, poor sleep can also harm your visual working memory, i.e. brain’s ability to store and filter visual information.
Having read the above-listed symptoms, ensure that you contact your doctor and seek medical treatment if you notice any of these sleep deprivation signs.