During sleep, your body heals itself, logs memories, and builds up energy to start each day anew. Working too much can bring on insomnia or a pure lack of sleep when you burn the candle too low. Welcoming a new baby is a true joy, but those late night wakeup calls start to take their toll on mom and dad if the little one doesn't learn how to sleep through the night by a reasonable age.
No matter if you are a night owl or a morning person, it's still extremely important to get enough sleep so you can be at your best mentally and physically. The effects a lack of sleep can have on your body can be jaw-dropping. Here are five signs that you might be suffering from sleep deprivation.
1. You have to drag yourself out of bed. Your alarm goes off and you snooze it. This can be normal. However, if you continue to snooze, and snooze, and snooze, and finally get out of bed feeling like you grew another foot and kicked yourself out, you might have something else going on with your body.
2. You don't feel refreshed when you wake up. If day in and day out you don't even feel like you've slept, you might want to look into your sleep quality. Consider getting a fitness tracker that records your sleep patterns so you can get a handle on your baseline and where to go from there.
3. You have a hard time focusing your eyes. Do you feel like you really have to rein in your gaze to look someone in the eye or focus on a project? If this is the case, you may be more than just overtired. Eyes that can't really focus can become problematic, especially if you're sitting behind the wheel. Lack of sleep shortens your reaction time and impacts your ability to make split-second decisions, both of which can be extremely dangerous in a driving scenario. While you could have other health issues going on, chances are you might want to improve your sleep practices sooner rather than later.
4. You can barely make it through the day without a nap. Or maybe you can't make it through the day at all unless you do nap. Either way, if sleep deprivation is your problem, a simple nap here and there--while helpful--is not going to be the main solution.
5. Your anger meter goes from zero to ticked off in five seconds. If you are usually a pretty even-keel kind of person, realizing your anger response has kicked into high gear can be a dead giveaway that something's going on in your body. Lack of sleep allows the cortisol hormones to rage through your body more, giving way to greater stress and reduced ability to handle it. Get your balance back in check by going to bed earlier and keeping track of how much you sleep. Regular improvements in your hours spent sleeping should deliver positive results to how you are feeling.
Of course, if you haven't had a physical exam recently, that may be a great first step in getting checked out for any underlying health concerns. Exhaustion and extreme tiredness can be due to a lot of things, but a lot of times, the common denominator is not getting enough sleep.