Sub­tle signs of tired­ness

Western Times - - TRADE & SERVICES - CHERYL FINGLESON www.bodyand­

SOME signs of ex­haus­tion are easy to spot: dark cir­cles un­der eyes, ex­ces­sive yawn­ing, and find­ing it dif­fi­cult to wake up in the morn­ing. But there are also some more sub­tle signs that the hu­man body ex­hibits when it’s not get­ting enough rest.

1. For­get­ful­ness

Sleep is vi­tal for the pro­duc­tion of new mem­o­ries and knowl­edge. Re­search shows that on av­er­age, peo­ple who sleep less than five hours a night are 25 per cent more for­get­ful than those who sleep longer. Deep slow wave sleep – which takes place dur­ing non-REM sleep – is as­so­ci­ated with restor­ing mem­ory.

2. Mood­i­ness

Peo­ple who sleep less than they need to are more likely to re­act neg­a­tively when things go badly. This is be­cause lack of sleep leads to a rise in amyg­dala ac­tiv­ity in the brain – which is part of the lim­bic sys­tem in­volved with creat­ing emo­tions – and also causes a dis­con­nect be­tween it and other ar­eas that reg­u­late its func­tion.

3. Hunger and weight gain

Sleep and ap­petite are closely linked. Ghre­lin stim­u­lates the ap­petite while lep­tin sup­presses it, and these hor­mones reg­u­late nor­mal hunger lev­els. If we don’t get enough sleep, ghre­lin and lep­tin lev­els are al­tered. Our bod­ies’ re­sponse to glu­cose and re­lease in­sulin is also al­tered, putting us at risk of type 2 di­a­betes.

4. Im­pul­siv­ity

Lack of sleep im­pairs cog­ni­tion, at­ten­tion and de­ci­sion mak­ing, so it’s per­haps no sur­prise that it can also af­fect im­pulse con­trol. Sci­en­tists who stud­ied the be­hav­iour of a group of sleep-de­prived sub­jects found that no mat­ter how hard the par­tic­i­pants tried to make good choices, sleep­less­ness cre­ated a kind of short-cir­cuit in their brains that stopped them from fol­low­ing through on these choices.

5. Ill­ness

Bod­ies need sleep to fight in­fec­tious dis­ease. Dur­ing sleep, pro­teins called cy­tokines are pro­duced by our im­mune sys­tems and used to fight in­fec­tion and in­flam­ma­tion or when we’re un­der stress. But if we don’t have enough sleep, we don’t pro­duce enough of them to fight back. Pro­longed lack of sleep is also linked to car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease, high blood pres­sure, men­tal ill­ness and other se­ri­ous ill­nesses.


DON’T IG­NORE CUES: Watch for the signs your body is not get­ting the rest it de­serves.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.