“I wish I have more than 24 hours a day” this is something every busy person say, especially those suffering from the effects not getting enough sleep. When I said ‘busy people, you may have the picture of the billionaire or top executives in your mind, but that is not always the case. From the housewife who needs to wake up early to prep the kids for school and get ready for work herself to the man who needs to leave home very early in the morning in order to beat traffic, it is the 21st century and everyone is busy one way or the other.
And ultimately, our sleep suffers for it. Sleep deprivation is almost an endemic at this time as it is not common to see an adult having up to 8-hours sleep a night. Are you kidding? With our tight schedule and loads of things demanding attention, where else can we get more time to get things done but reduce our time in bed?
To be fair, it is not only busy schedule that leads to sleep deprivation, there are environmental factors too. It is not enough to stay in bed for hours, but how deep we sleep is the most important, but how can sleep be deep when the body is breaking in sweats with the voice of mosquitoes humming terrible melodies in your ears?
Do you know you can be sleep deprived and be unaware? This happens mostly because aside from feeling sleeping through the day, it is easy to attribute symptoms of sleep deprivation to other health issues. Below are some ways to know that you are not sleeping enough:
1. You are Always Hungry: There are basically two ways to feed the brain with the basic energy it requires, food and sleep, deprived the body of one, it will make a demand on the other. For example, hungry people tend to feel sleepy or drowsy through till they are least fill the stomach with something, same goes for sleep. The rain needs sleep to function well, so if you are sleep deprived, the production of ghrelin, also known as hunger hormone will be high and this will increase your cravings through the day.
2. You Are Gaining Weight: Some years ago, I know some people who avoided sleeping during the day because they were trying to reduce\increase their weight, but such effort is counterproductive. Since sleeping less increases the hunger hormone in your body, you have the tendency to eat more, thereby taking more calories. Also, lack of sleep can slow down your metabolism, making you add weight faster.
3. You are More Reckless: A good sleep does not only make you feel relaxed, it also calm your nerves. When you are not sleeping enough, you become more impulsive, saying things you don’t mean and doing things you ordinarily won’t do without thinking much.
4. You Forget Things Easily: You promised you would do something for someone just yesterday and you completely forgot about it, well, we all forget things right? But yesterday, you forgot the mail you were supposed to send, you couldn’t remember where you placed your mobile phone, and right now, you are searching for your wallet. All these are signs you need rest, not just rest, you need to get yourself a good sleep.
5. You Get Sick Too Often: Sleep deprivation can affect your immune system in ways you can’t imagine. And you know what happens when the immune system is weak, you fall sick easily and intermittently.
6. You Doze off All Day: It is somehow normal to want to take a nap once in a while, but if you do this all day, then you may be sleeping lesser than your body requires. Sleep can somehow be controlled and waved off during the day, but if you find it difficult staying awake while during a physical activity like driving, it may be that you are high on sleep debt and you need to pay up.
7. You Look Unwell: You are not just tired, you look unwell and exhausted and you can’t even explain it. The problem may not be food, it may be lack of sleep.
One thing about sleep debt is that there is no debt relief, the more you miss sleep, the more your debt pile up. I know work may be very hectic, but you will be doing yourself a huge favor by making out time not just to relax, but to get quality sleep.