The occasional late night is fine, we all do it. But it’s when you skimp on sleep night after night that it becomes a real problem. Though you may think your five-hours-a-night habit is nothing to worry about, chronic sleep deprivation has been tied to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression. According to the CDC and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 1 in 3 adults do not get enough sleep on a regular basis. Are you one of them? Here are five signs you’re sleep deprived.
1.) You’re always hungry. Running low on sleep can increase the production of ghrelin, also known as the hunger hormone, in your gut. Too much ghrelin makes your body crave fatty and sugary foods, and poor sleep can also mess with leptin, the satiety hormone.
2.) You’ve gained weight. A lack of sleep can also have direct effects on your metabolism and it tends to slow down without proper rest. A 2012 study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that just four and a half hours of sleep for four days straight can reduce your fat cells’ ability to respond to insulin by 30%.
3.) You have memory issues. When you’re tired, it’s harder to concentrate, making it harder to create a memory. Getting decent sleep is crucial for brain health in the long term. Research from the National Institutes of Health showed that in mice, sleep helps clear toxic molecules from the brain, implying not getting enough regularly could impair your brain’s ability to keep the nervous system clear.
4.) Your emotions are all over the place. You might feel like your emotions are out of control when you’re sleep deprived, and it could also go the opposite way too. People can get slap-happy and giddy with extreme sleep deprivation.
5.) You get sick often. If you’re not sleeping properly there can be significant issues in terms of your body’s ability to fight off infections. You might find that it’s harder to shake a cold. A 2009 study found that people who got less than seven hours of sleep were nearly three times as likely to develop a cold than those who got eight hours or more rest a night. That could be because your immune system produces cytokines while you sleep, which are proteins that help protect against infections and inflammation, meaning a few nights of poor sleep could lower your body’s defenses against pesky viruses.
In Good Health,