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Sign up to the get fit newsletter
Sign up for the ''Get Fit'' Newsletter
  • Tips on managing Stress
  • Ways to stay motivated
  • The benefits of resistance training
  • How to improve your metabolism
  • Learn why "conventional" diets fail
  • How to target stubborn fat areas
  • Healthy and tasty recipes
  • What muscle soreness really means
  • Learn how exercise affects your mood
  • How to choose the right health club
  • Weight loss and diet myths revealed
  • Flexibility, how and when to stretch
  • How to build personal motivation
  • How to conquer procrastination
Email:
Name:
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Health and Fitness News

When Coffee Doesn’t Do the Trick

Have any of these problems? You may need more sleep.

You know most people need seven to nine hours of sleep each night for health and wellness, but you’re the exception, right? Who has time to sleep away a third of their lives anyway? Not you! Maybe it’s a new baby in the house, exams to study for, or too much on your mind, but for whatever reason you aren’t getting the recommended amount of sleep. For a while you thought you could function just fine with less shut-eye, but lately you’re wondering if the lack of sleep is catching up to you.

Coffee may do the trick temporarily, but your mind and body are obviously craving more sleep. If you think you may need to go to bed earlier tonight, here are a few signs that you’re right.

Falling Asleep in Five Minutes

When you go to bed at night, how long does it take to fall asleep? If you’re out as soon as your head hits the pillow, you may need more sleep.

During the day, do you find yourself dozing off when you sit still or close your eyes? Do you struggle to keep your eyes open when you drive or watch television? Excessive daytime sleepiness is another sign of sleep deprivation or a sleep disorder.

Gaining Weight

Sleep isn’t just needed for alertness, but it also helps regulate hormones that affect your appetite. A lack of sleep triggers more of the hormone responsible for telling you when you’re hungry and less of the hormone that signals when you’re full. This means you’re at risk for eating more before you realize you’re full. Studies show a clear connection between skimping on sleep and a risk for obesity.

Without enough sleep you’re also more likely to be hungry and crave junk food. You don’t have the energy to make healthy meals so you grab fast food or snacks from the vending machine. When you’re tired, you lack the willpower and judgment skills to make wise food choices. Get sleep and choose more wisely.

Being Forgetful

Misplace your keys again? Can’t remember the babysitter’s name? You may be sleep-deprived. During sleep your body is at rest, but your brain is busy making mental connections and consolidating memories. Consistently stay up late and you’ll likely be forgetful and scatter-brained the next day. This is one reason why a good night’s rest is so important for students before a big test.

Non-Stop Cranky

Irritable, moody, mean, and short-tempered. The amount of sleep you get greatly affects your emotional health. When you don’t get enough sleep you’re more likely to be in a bad mood and deal with anxiety or depression. Little things stress you out and it’s hard to deal with the pressures of normal life. You snap at the kids, you fight with your spouse, and you get road rage. Get a good night’s rest, on the other hand, and you’ll be better able to face the day’s challenges.

Looking Rough

Sometimes you just have to look in the mirror to realize you didn’t get enough shut-eye. You may not call it beauty sleep, but sleep—or a lack of it—does affect your appearance. Dark circles or bags under your eyes, blood-shot eyes, acne, and wrinkles are all attributed to a lack of sleep. This is because sleep is restorative to all parts of your body and helps regulate the hormones responsible for your complexion.

Acting on Impulse

It’s probably a good idea not to go shopping when you’re tired. That’s because a lack of sleep contributes to impulsiveness and poor judgment skills. When suffering from sleep deprivation, you’re more likely to buy things you can’t afford, say things without thinking, eat foods not allowed on your diet, or act without considering the consequences.