Your sleep deficit might be causing other health problems, instead.
Have you ever been so tired that you don’t feel tired? Some people have a sleep deficit so built into their lives that they no longer notice it, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still affecting your health.
- Craving sugar and carbs. A lack of sleep causes an increase in the hormone ghrelin, which makes you crave sugar and carbs, and a decrease in the chemical leptin, which tells you when you are full. This means that you will crave more unhealthy foods and have a difficult time knowing when to stop eating.
- Clumsiness. Studies show that even one all-nighter is enough to reduce your hand-eye coordination to that of a drunk person.
- Aged skin. A lack of sleep means an increase in cortisol, which dehydrates your skin and breaks down the collagen that keeps it firm. The less you sleep, the more wrinkled and aged your skin begins to look.
- Getting sick frequently. Sleeping for fewer than seven hours a night makes you three times more likely to catch a cold than sleeping for eight hours. Infection-fighting proteins are produced while you sleep, so your body needs plenty of time to produce these proteins and build up your immunity.
- Being more emotional. Severe lack of sleep can cause changes in the prefrontal lobe, the area of the brain that regulates emotion. If you find yourself crying more or lashing out at people, you might be in desperate need of a nap.
If you experience any of these symptoms, you might consider going to bed early tonight. Getting a consistent eight hours can make all the difference!