Think you’ve been functioning perfectly fine after cutting your sleep short? Corrie Pikul of O Magazine is encouraging you to re-consider. If you are getting 6 hours of sleep or less, your body may be giving you the signal to get some sleep in these subtle ways:
- Breakfast time is hilarious: Since your malfunctioning brain is having trouble telling you how to behave, you may be laughing at the news, your spoon swirling around in your coffee and your dog chasing his tail even more hilarious.
- You’re constantly tapping your feet and your pen: Moving your muscles gives your brain the signal to stay alert. If you are fidgety and can’t sit still, your brain may be trying to help stay awake.
- Your brain is taking catnaps: Also called lapsing, the specific areas of your brain responsible for keeping you focused and controlling your response time have decided to take frequent breaks from processing information.
- Using your ID to swipe into the office before the door close while balancing your coffee is tricky: Since your psychomotor skills and coordination skills are some of the first things to be affected by sleep deprivation, this simple sequence of tasks is quite challenging.
- You are a hot, emotional wreck: Proper sleep helps regulate our emotions so that we’ll be able to appropriately express our thoughts and feelings. You have poor control, have trouble thinking positive and following through with action to solve problems. If someone upsets you, be prepared to more livid that usual.
- Carbs keep calling your name: Just one night of insufficient sleep is enough to increase your appetite for carbs and fatty foods, as your body is craving a quick, easy energy boost. Try eating within an hour of first waking up to increase your alertness and cognitive performance.
- You get an energy boost at 9:30pm: Your circadian rhythm is all out of sync and is doing its best to get you back on track. However, this alertness can easily tempt you to push your bedtime back because you feel perfectly fine.
Keep in mind that research has shown that one night of missed sleep can be compared to the coordination of someone with a blood alcohol level of .10. It’s never too late to start sleeping better this year! Adults need 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night for optimal health, productivity and happiness. If you want to improve your overall quality of life, collecting proper sleep will give you a fantastic head start!