When you shuffle into the bathroom each morning, do you stifle yawns or notice dark circles under your eyes? We’re all familiar with those signs of sleep deprivation, but lack of sleep can also affect our bodies in other ways. Here’s a look at seven signs you may need more shuteye than you’re getting:
- Changes in appetite: If you’re suddenly feeling the urge to snack all day long—or have completely lost the desire for lunch—you may need more rest. Lack of sleep causes our biological clocks to lose time, meaning we may feel hungrier more often, or even lose appetite. Usually it’s the former, which is why people tend to gain weight during extended periods of sleeplessness.
- Forgetfulness: Whether you forget where you left the car keys, or stumble mid-sentence over lost words, sleep deprivation could be the reason. Our brains need time to relax and regenerate, and this normally occurs during sleep. Without that time, our cognitive abilities grow dull.
- Distraction: Maybe you’re feeling restless, or having more trouble paying attention at that meeting. Perhaps you’ve checked your cell phone for messages three times—in the past ten minutes. Sleep deprivation also robs us of our ability to concentrate for extended periods of time, making it more difficult to focus on complicated tasks.
- Weakened immunity: There’s a reason that people who are sick tend to spend lots of time sleeping. Their bodies need time to recuperate, and sleep provides that time. If you’re not catching enough Zzz’s, your body is more prone to attack from bacteria and viruses. Taking extra Vitamin C isn’t enough—your body needs plenty of rest to fight off those germy attackers.
- Blurred vision: So your eyesight might not be perfect in the first place, but fuzzy edges and double vision could be signs that it’s time for some more rest. It’s more than just eye fatigue. Our brains get tired of processing the images from our eyes, meaning that sleep deprivation is a double whammy for our eyesight.
- Crankiness: Kids aren’t the only ones who get irritable if they miss that nap. Adults can get edgy, irritable, or downright grumpy without enough sleep. If you feel your attitude veering toward the negative more frequently than usual, or if small annoyances are driving you up the wall, it may be time to go to bed a little earlier.
- Klutziness: Physical coordination may not be your strength, but skimping on sleep won’t help matters. If you’re literally dropping the ball or tripping over your own feet, get some more sleep and see if that helps.
If you have questions about sleep deprivation or sleep disorders, please contact us at Central Florida Regional Hospital. The experienced staff at our Sleep Disorders Laboratory has the knowledge and expertise to answer your questions. Call 407-833-7526 to learn more about sleep disorder treatment in Seminole and Volusia Counties.