Singapore is amongst the world’s most sleep-deprived nations, coming in 3rd in studies done by Fitbit and Jawbone. Considering how adults need an estimated 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night to function at their optimal, most Singaporeans are simply not getting enough shut eye. Sleep is important because it is the period of time where the body repairs itself, and sleep deprivation is a risk factor for many diseases. Not sure if you make the cut? Here are 7 signs that you may not be getting enough sleep.
1. You always feel moody
If you feel like you’re angry all the time, there may be basis behind it! Sleep deprivation causes you to be moody and more irritable. Not only that, but it also linked to mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety.
2. You’re gaining weight
Not only does insufficient sleep impair your judgement when it comes to food choices, it also affects your hunger-regulating hormones — ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin stimulates appetite, while leptin decreases it. When the body is sleep-deprived, levels of ghrelin spike while levels of leptin falls, leading to an increase in appetite.
3. You’re always falling sick
Sleep deprivation affects your bodily functions, and having not enough sleep may make you more susceptible to attacks on your immune system.
4. You have trouble concentrating
When you lack sleep, alertness and concentration is dampened. It’s more difficult to focus and pay attention, so you’re more easily distracted. It also hampers your ability to perform tasks that require logical reasoning or complex thought!
6. You’re having problems remembering things
Encoding of memories happens during the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage of sleep, which is the deepest stage of sleep. Insufficient sleep results in less REM time, making it harder to memorise things.
7. You have bad skin
When you don’t get enough sleep, it shows on your face. Suffering from breakouts, dark eye circles or tired skin? That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Though you may not see it immediately, in the long run, chronic sleep loss means permanent damage to your skin. Losing out on sleep increases production of cortisol, a stress hormone. This hormone breaks down collagen, which is what keeps your skin elastic and youthful.
How to get a good night’s sleep
You’ve seen how important sleep is, now it’s time to throw aside your bad habits and hit the sack early. Here are some ways to help you get a better night of sleep:
- Exercising in the morning or afternoon can help increase deep sleep
- Get into a routine and stick to it; go to bed at a set time each night
- Stop using your devices in bed, blue light from your phone can affect your sleep
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