Take a moment to think about how much sleep you’ve been getting lately. Often times we may know we are sleep-deprived, but simply ignore the signs. In order to bring more awareness to the signs of chronic sleep loss, YouBeauty Expert and director of Behavorial Sleep Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, Shelby Freedman Harris, shared what to look for to find out if you need more shut-eye with The Huffington Post:
1. You are falling asleep super fast: While many people see it as a sign of being a great sleeper, it’s actually the opposite. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, consistently falling asleep within 5 minutes of lying down, you may be severely sleep deprived or have a sleep disorder.
2. You are more impulsive than usual: Did you just splurge on an expensive pair of shoes, or eat 2 donuts this morning? Your lack of sleep may be the culprit if it isn’t your typical behavior. Sleep deprivation affects the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which is associated with impulse control, judgment, attention, and visual association.
3. You are using a lot of clichés: Think back to your conversations over the last week. Have you been using a lot of phrases like “Better safe than sorry,” or “You can’t have your cake and eat it too?” The frontal lobe that supports creativity is failing you because of your lack of sleep.
4. You are forgetful: If you forgot your smartphone, can’t remember to stop by the post office, or can’t recall the things on your to-do list, your memory is taking a hit due to your lack of sleep.
5. You are more hungry than usual: Chronic sleep loss increases your appetite as it affects 2 hormones, gherlin and leptin. Ghrelin sends out the hunger signal so we’ll eat, while leptin lets us know when we are full so we’ll stop eating.
6. You have read this sentence twice: Having trouble concentrating is definitely a sign that you need more sleep. Sleep deprivation also holds you back from making split second decisions.
7. You are clumsy: Spilling coffee on your shirt, bumping into the same object that’s always been there, and stumbling over your feet are all signs that your motor skills need the boost that more sleep provides.
8. You are fighting with your partner: Couples have more serious fights when they aren’t getting enough sleep, according to a 2013 study at U.C. Berkeley. Chronic sleep loss makes it more difficult to stay away from and handle conflict.
9. You are zoning out: Drowsy driving is dangerous for everyone on the road with you. If you find yourself missing your exit or not being able to recall the last few seconds, you need to get more sleep.
10. You are falling asleep during movies or during a daytime flight: If you are falling asleep the moment you get into a dark environment during daytime hours, you are probably sleep deprived. You should remain energize and alert throughout the day.
How did you compare against this list? Always make sleep priority to protect your health, happiness, relationships and boost your productivity. 7-9 hours of high-quality sleep simply can’t fail you!