5. You always crave sugar and carbs.
When we're not getting enough sleep, it can stimulate hunger for certain types of foods. "Poor (or lack of) sleep affects your hypothalamus, the master control center in your brain of hormones like cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. When these hormones are out of balance, it can trigger sugar and carb cravings, making you more likely to choose foods that create gut imbalances," board-certified internist Vincent Pedre, M.D., previously wrote of the sleep-gut connection on mbg.
"Not getting enough sleep can also lead to poor eating decisions, by messing with your hunger hormones," he writes. "Studies have shown sleep deprivation leads to cravings for high-calorie, low-nutrient snacks, like candy bars, chips, chocolates, and other desserts."
Again, eating too many of these types of foods can also impair sleep quality and contribute to a cycle of overeating and undersleeping.
6. Your workouts feel more challenging than usual.
Sleep is when our bodies recover from the demands of the day so when we don't enough of it, we can't operate at our best physically. (There's a reason Tom Brady prioritizes getting nine hours of shuteye a night.) "If your workouts feel more difficult by the end of the week, it could be a sign that you are sleep deprived," says board-certified sleep specialist Michael J. Breus, Ph.D. "Try getting an extra 30 minutes of sleep every night. You might be surprised just how much better you will feel."
More telltale signs that Breus looks out for when gauging sleep deprivation include hitting the snooze button multiple times, relying on energy drinks, sleeping in on the weekends, and falling asleep while in conversation with a bed partner.
Everyone's sleep needs are slightly different. When it comes to the amount of sleep you should aim for each night, there is no magic number—though seven to nine hours is a range that most experts recommend.
Waking up feeling refreshed in the mornings, getting tired around the same time every night, falling asleep quickly (but not too quickly!), and staying asleep throughout the night are all signs that your body has fallen into a healthy sleep rhythm.
If you're not quite there yet and struggling with some of the aforementioned sleepless signs, making sleep a priority starts with setting and sticking to a consistent bedtime and wake-up time that leaves you plenty of time in bed.
In addition to prioritizing sleep quantity, optimizing sleep quality is essential: Some habits that can throw it off include eating fatty foods right before bed, drinking alcohol or caffeine too late in the day, looking at screens at night, and keeping your bedroom too hot or too bright.
Keeping up with a low-tech wind-down routine, investing in a supportive pillow, and taking a relaxing supplement like mbg's sleep support+, which combines magnesium, jujube, and pharmaGABA, will also help promote deep and restorative sleep—and the health benefits that come with it.*
It's worth noting that many of these sensations of sleeplessness can also be signs of a more serious medical condition. If they persist or seem to get worse regardless of how much sleep you get, you'll want to check in with your doctor.
Sleep is nothing to snooze on, and those who don't get enough of it will struggle in more ways than one. Deep, high-quality sleep can pay dividends for everything from your mood to your sex drive. It's a gift to yourself that'll keep on giving long after the alarm goes off.
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