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Mental Mondays: 5 Signs It Might Just Be Sleep Deprivation

Mental Mondays: 5 Signs It Might Just Be Sleep Deprivation



t’s empowering to see everyone “hustling” and staying on top of their game. But honestly, we as individuals sometimes act like there’s a secret medal for being sleep deprived. What’s more? Many still brag about not sleeping in days as though it’s a job well done.  Although hard work and motivation are inspiring, sleep deprivation might prove counterproductive to your dreams and goals.

Accordingly, there’re countless cases of sleep-deprived youths developing illnesses that accompany them well into old age. It’s true that your body would warn you when you’re working on overdrive, however, if these warnings aren’t heeded, one morning you could wake up only to find your entire system is out of touch. Trust me, I’m not being overly dramatic. Sleep deprivation is that serious.

How much sleep is enough?

The system, routines, and lifestyle of humans vary from one individual to the next, but according to the National Sleep Foundation, there is a duration of sleep suitable for every age group:

  • Older adults, 65+ years: 7 to 8 hours.
  • Adults, 26 to 64 years: 7 to 9 hours.
  • Young adults, 18 to 25 years: 7 to 9 hours.
  • Teenagers, 14 to 17 years: 8 to 10 hours.
  • School-age children, 6 to 13 years: 9 to 11 hours.
  • Preschool children, 3 to 5 years: 10 to 13 hours.
  • Toddlers, 1 to 2 years: 11 to 14 hours.
  • Infants, 4 to 11 months: 12 to 15 hours.
  • Newborns, 0 to 3 months: 14 to 17 hours.

Check out 5 effects of sleep deprivation…

#1. Sleep deprivation affects the memory

Photo: ian dooley | Unsplash

After a while of going without good sleep, the ability of the mind to grasp and process information becomes poor. This happens because the part of the brain that helps to focus and concentrate is highly affected by our sleep cycle. Consequently, an individual becomes inattentive and dull after a prolonged period of cutting sleep corners.

#2. Weight gain

Photo: pixabay | pexels

Imagine working out and eating healthy, but your sleeping pattern becomes what ruins your efforts. Yes, sleep deprivation can make you gain unwanted weight. This could be the reason why despite your dedication and commitment to weight loss, your weight doesn’t go anywhere. Lack of sleep decreases the body’s metabolism process.

#3. Hormonal imbalance

Photo: Simone van der Koelen | Unsplash

Sleep deprivation especially has a significant impact on hormones. From stress hormones, to thyroid, and insulin levels. To avoid hormonal complications like low libido, type 2 diabetes, and thyroid problems, it’s best to visit your doctor if you can’t seem to catch any sleep.

#4. Daytime sleepiness

Photo: Andrea Piacquadio | Pexels

The body is designed in such a way that when it is sleep deprived, it begins to naturally slow down. You might find yourself taking micro periods of sleep and feeling drowsy during the day. This is a sure sign of a lack of sleep. Do the needful and give your body the much-needed doze it requires.

#5. Mental health issues

Photo: Anthony Tran | Unsplash

Sleep deprivation has been associated with mental health problems like General Anxiety Disorder and depression. Missing a night of good sleep already increases irascibility and fatigue, now imagine when this goes on for months. The result would definitely heighten mental health issues.

Note: Not everyone who is sleep-deprived will exhibit these symptoms, but these are certainly some signs to watch out for. The promising part to note is that most of these symptoms can be reversed from getting a good night’s sleep, especially if it hasn’t worsened into something more acute. Although,

No wonder Sleeping Beauty looked so good…she took long naps, never got old, and didn’t have to do anything but snore to get her Prince Charming.” ~ Olive Green

Featured image:  Gui Spinardi | Pexels

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