Today’s Solutions: December 02, 2021

We share a lot of stories on The Optimist Daily about the value of sleep and strategies to promote better slumber, but how can you tell if you’re getting enough sleep? Deep yawns, exhaustion, and fatigue are great starting points, but sleep influences so many body functions that there are many other more subtle signs that you need to seek more sleep. Here are six signs you may need to hit the hay earlier.

  1. You’re always thirsty. Studies have linked fewer than six hours of sleep with higher levels of dehydration because of a hormone called vasopressin. If you’re always thirsty despite drinking plenty of water, the issue may be your sleep schedule.
  2. You’re falling asleep. If you find yourself dozing off while sitting on the couch or reading a book, it could be a sign your body is craving more sleep. Enhancing your rest at night will help keep you more alert during the day.
  3. You have a low sex drive. Sex drive is largely dictated by hormones, so if you’re feeling less motivated than usual, sleep could be the culprit.
  4. You’re falling into negative thought patterns. Among the many physical symptoms of lack of sleep, nighttime rest also influences our mood. One study in Clinical Psychological Science found that sleep-deprived patients experienced 50 percent more unwanted negative thoughts than their rested counterparts.
  5. You’re craving sugar and carbs. Lack of sleep throws off your hypothalamus, the brain region responsible for hormone regulation. This imbalance can trigger sugar and carbohydrate cravings to regulate your energy levels.
  6. Your workouts feel more challenging. Sleep is when our bodies recover physically, so if your usual run or yoga session is feeling more difficult, lack of sleep could be the issue. Even just 30 minutes more sleep can make a big difference in terms of your physical energy levels.

If you’re experiencing some of these symptoms and want to improve your sleep habits, check out one of our many guides on improved sleep!

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