According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, insufficient sleep among Americans is so prevalent that it is considered a public health epidemic. Sleep insufficiency has not only been linked with personal health problems like diabetes, obesity and depression; it’s also associated with public health issues such as car accidents, industrial disasters and even medical errors.
That being said, the scary truth is that many people may not even realize that they’re suffering from sleep deprivation.
While actions like yawning and falling asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow are some of the obvious signs that you aren’t getting enough sleep, there are a number of lesser known indications of sleep deprivation that you probably aren’t aware of.
A recent article published in the Huffington Post features a list of these surprising signs of sleep deprivation.
Let’s take a look at a few of them:
Difficulty communicating. When you don’t get enough sleep, your brain has a hard time with things like speech, constructive thinking and creativity, so if you find yourself slurring your speech, stuttering or using a lot of cliché phrases, you may need to get some more rest.
Feeling hungrier than usual. Lack of sleep affects the hormones in the body that tell us when to eat, giving people bigger appetites than normal. This is one of the reasons why sleep deprivation is linked with weight gain.
Making impulsive decisions. The prefrontal cortex – the part of the brain associated with judgment, impulse control, visual association and attention – is impacted by sleep deprivation. This means that people who don’t get enough sleep may be more prone to impulsivity and making poor decisions.
If you notice any of these signs of sleep deprivation, you may be suffering from a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea. Be sure to consult your doctor to learn more.