So let’s get the obvious signs out of the way first, and then look at some that you may not have linked to lack of sleep.
Yawning is one of the primary signs that your brain is trying to cool off for sleep.
#2. Feeling sleepy
If you feel sleepy in the afternoon, fall asleep in front of the television, just want to close your eyes for a minute during the day, then you need more shut-eye at night.
#3. You fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow
Falling asleep quickly is great – but it could also be a sign that you’re actually not getting enough rest. If you nod off pretty much straight away it’s a sign of exhaustion and that your body is in need of sleep.
#4 Trouble thinking clearly or making decisions
Our cognitive abilities are more likely to be impaired by lack of rest. This can affect everything from making simple decisions, to problem solving and even time management.
#5. Trouble remembering things
Studies have shown that those who are well rested tend to perform better on memory tests than those who are sleep deprived. While you’re asleep, your brain is getting busy processing the events of the day and forming memories. A lack of sleep means that your brain doesn’t have enough time to do this and as such has a harder time recalling and processing new information.
#6. Getting sick more often
Sleep is a way for your body to restore and repair itself. Your body produces cytokines while you sleep which are proteins that help defend against infection and inflammation. If you’re not getting enough rest, your body’s immune system is compromised which affects your ability to fight off illness. It could also mean that it takes you much longer to recover from being sick. If you’re having trouble shaking off a cold, it could mean that you just need to get more rest.
#7. More clumsy than usual
When you’re tired your concentration and reaction times are impaired which can lead to difficulty with movement – it can be just like being drunk. Being extremely sleep deprived affects your ability to function as much as alcohol intoxication so it’s no surprise that lack of sleep can affect your motor skills.
#8. Weight gain and food cravings
If you’re not getting enough rest your body produces more ghrelin (the hunger hormone in your gut) which makes you crave sugary and fatty foods. Not only does lack of sleep mean you are you producing more ghrelin, you’re also producing less leptin, the hormone that tells your brain you’ve had enough to eat, which can lead to overeating. So it’s no surprise that studies by Harvard Medical School have found a link between lack of sleep and weight gain. Not having proper rest can also affect your metabolism which is another key factor in weight gain.
A lack of sleep can magnify the effects of alcohol. If you find when you drink, that you are feeling intoxicated a lot more quickly than usual, it could be a sign that you need more sleep.
#10. Moody or emotional
You’re more likely to be impulsive and act without thinking when you’re sleep deprived. This can mean that you’re more prone to doing or saying things that you wouldn’t normally have said or done. If you find yourself yelling unnecessarily or find you’re getting annoyed by something as simple it could mean that you actually need to get more rest.
#11. Skin breakouts
Dull complexion, acne, psoriasis can result from not getting enough sleep. When you don’t rest enough cortisol, the stress hormone, is increased. Cortisol can aggravate inflammatory skin conditions, which can in turn break down collagen and result in a dull complexion.