We all have differing needs and beliefs when it comes to how much sleep we require. But what if your lack of shut-eye is actually affecting your health? If you’re experiencing any of the following things, maybe you need a little more rest than what you’re getting.
1. You’re ALWAYS hungry
Here at Go Natural we are all about healthy snacking, however if your go-to snacks are no longer filling you up and you feel yourself constantly craving a sugar hit then something may be up!
If the brain isn’t obtaining the energy it requires from sleep to function, it’ll try to get it in other forms. Generally, food is next in line. When you’re running on empty, the body will increase the production of grehlin, aka the hunger hormone in your gut. Higher levels of grehlin can trigger those nasty hunger pangs which we all know the feeling of from being over-tired.
2. You’re more impulsive
Sure, we always love those friends who don’t beat around the bush and say it how it is, but, are you acting without thinking? Research has shown that sleep-deprivation affects a person’s ability to make decisions and manage self-control. This can lead to behaviour such as impulsivity, where suddenly the ability to say “no I won’t have another piece of cake” can become more difficult.
Impulsive actions aren’t just food related either, you also may find yourself lashing out at those nearest and dearest to you, just, well, because. The main reason for this is that when you’re tired it is harder to inhibit a response. This can cause you to act on your emotions rather than taking the time to think things through.
3. Your motor skills are off
No, we’re not referring to your car! We’re talking about you and your movement. Tripping over or banging into things might be the norm for some (it’s true, there is a “clutz” in every friendship group). However, if you’re doing this on the regular and something doesn’t seem right, you might be in need of some good old R&R.
When you’re mind and body are fatigued, your neurological functions may slow, which can lead to slower reaction times, lapses in concentration and difficulty with movement e.g. hand-eye coordination.
4. You get sick often
Worried it might seem like your faking another ‘sickie’, but you’re actually, genuinely ill? A good sleep might be just the cure.
When you’re exhausted your immune system can suffer, which means your body finds it harder to fight off infection (even something as common as a cold). To get a bit more technical, your immune system produces special proteins while you sleep which are called cytokines. These little guys help protect your body against infection. If you’re going through a patch of bad sleep, your body’s defence mechanism to fight viruses could be lower than normal, which could increase your risk of getting sick.
5. Your skin isn’t looking great
They call it “beauty sleep” for a reason! Did you know when you’re fast asleep your skin works tirelessly to repair any damaged cells? So, if you’re not getting sufficient shut eye, this beautiful process will be disrupted. To add to it, not enough sleep causes an imbalance in hormones, such as elevating the circulating levels of estrogen. Which can cause breakouts and wrinkles, eek!
If any of these points sound like you here are some strategies that we recommend you try to get a bit more shut-eye:
Get into a routine with your sleeping habits. Go to bed at the same time every day, and set your alarm for the same time every morning (yes, that includes weekends!)
Avoid napping during the day
Do more exercise
Expose your body to more hours of sunlight, and
Keep your phone away from the bedroom!