Signs You Need More Sleep
By Sara Butler
Americans need more sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, as many as 40 percent of Americans don’t get enough shut-eye, but how do you know if you’re one of them? Here are a few subtle hints that you may be one of the 40 percent!
You’re a Walking Cliché
If you find yourself channeling your grandmother with the “it is what it is” talk and reaching for a bunch of clichés in everyday conversation, then you might just be sleep deprived. It may seem strange, but research has actually shown that people who are tired act in ways that mimic impairment, such as being drunk. When you’re impaired you take the path of least resistance and expend as much energy as possible – including mental energy. So, if you find yourself struggling to stay in the conversation and rely on platitudes in order to make it happen, then you may not be getting enough sleep at night.
If you feel like you need to change your legal name to Moody McMooderson, then you may not be getting enough sleep at night. If you’re normally pretty patient but finding little things are starting to set you off as they would not have in the past then you’re probably sleep deprived. Some research has even found that if you’re low on sleep you will have difficulty reading people’s facial expressions, and that can lead you to feel as if someone is being threatening when they’re actually not, putting you on the defensive.
You’re Sick A Lot
If you feel like you recover from one illness only to move on to another right on its heels, then you might not be getting enough sleep! When you don’t get enough sleep it impairs your body’s immune response and keeps it from doing what it’s supposed to do – fight off illness. Studies have found that people who get less than five hours of sleep a night are at four times higher risk for contracting a cold than people who got six hours of sleep every night. Something to think about!
You Get the Munchies
Do you ever feel hungry and nothing seems to satisfy you? Well, that could mean you’re not getting enough sleep. Studies have found that lack of sleep lowers the level of a hormone called leptin in your body. Leptin is responsible for helping to control your appetite. At the same time, levels of ghrelin, the hormone that makes you hungry, is increased in people who don’t get enough sleep. That’s why, if you’re chronically sleep deprived, you may find yourself polishing off an entire pizza and a pint of ice cream late at night.