Do You Need More Sleep?
By Sara Butler
Your body has a way of clueing you into the things it needs, and sleep may just be one of them. Many people don’t get enough sleep at night. If you think you might be one of them, here are a few ways your body may be trying to let you know.
You’re Gaining Weight
If you are packing on some pounds and you’re not really sure why, it may be because you’re not getting enough sleep. Many studies have proven a link between lack of sleep and weight gain. This is due to the fact that when you’re tired you may reach for snacks to keep you awake and those calories can really add up! Lack of sleep can also cause your body to increase the levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which makes your body think it needs to hold on to fat and maybe even make some more.
You Find Your Emotions Difficult to Deal With
If you’re not getting enough sleep you will probably be cranky, but it doesn’t just stop there. Studies have found that people who don’t get enough sleep have less emotional control and a lowered ability to cope effectively with stress. This creates a perfect storm for more than just a bad mood, but can ultimately lead to depression.
You Get Sick A Lot
If you don’t get enough sleep at night you may find that you get sick more often. This is because not getting enough sleep has a big impact on how well your body functions, including your immune system. This makes you more vulnerable to infections and can have a big impact on your quality of life!
You Have Had Your Fair Share of Accidents and Injuries
The National Sleep Foundation says that you are more likely to be involved in accidents and sustain more injuries if you are sleep deprived. This is because if you aren’t getting enough sleep, you will probably find it more difficult to focus and pay attention. So, it may not be that you’re clumsy or accident-prone, it may actually mean you need more rest at night!
What You Should Do
You need to ensure you’re getting enough sleep:
- Plan to sleep between seven and eight hours every night.
- Go to bed around the same time every day, and get up around the same time, too.
- Keep your bedroom cool and dark, and quiet too!
- Try to limit the use of electronic devices before bed.
- Avoid heavy meals, caffeine and sugar in the hours leading up to bedtime.
So, are you getting enough sleep at night?