When you find yourself nodding off during important meetings, it’s easy to recognize that more sleep could be the solution. However, the symptoms of chronic sleep loss can be sneaky and less-obvious than yawning, feeling sleepy or having low energy.
Here’s what The Huffington Post suggests we all be on the lookout for:
- You have trouble recalling names: A lack of sleep can impact the way you relay information, making it more difficult to put names to faces even if you’ve seen the person before. These pauses in memory can also be caused by stress and other neurological issues, so if more sleep doesn’t help, schedule an appointment with a licensed physician.
- You can’t fit into your favorite jeans: When you cut your sleep short, your brain drives you to eat more higher-calorie foods and you struggle with knowing when you are full. Since your decision- making is also affected, you are more likely to give in to fatty foods, sugary treats, and late night snacking. Additionally, you lose the ability to burn fat efficiently when you are tired, making it harder to lose weight even though you are exercising.
- Your monthly cycle is off track: For women, the schedule of your menstrual cycle depends on a release of hormones that are control by your circadian rhythm, or 24-hour biological clock. Consistently not getting enough shut-eye can make your menstrual cycle unpredictable—meaning you could be early one month and late the next month.
- You can’t handle aches and pains like you used to: Numerous studies have linked sleep loss to lower pain tolerance, theorizing that it increases inflammation. One 2012 study even found that its study participants who slept 10 hours each night could within stand pain 25% longer than those who followed their regular sleep schedule.
Make time to get more sleep this month to improve your overall quality of life. While everyone has different needs, sleep experts recommend sleeping for 7-9 hours a night for optimal performance levels based on their studies.