Here are some telltale signs that you really need to hit the hay...Many of us regularly get less than eight hours sleep and survive just fine. But how can you tell if your body's crying out for an early night (or five)? GP Dr Sohere Roked tells us what to watch out for...
1. You wake up tired
'It may sound obvious but, if you wake up still feeling tired every day, whether you've had five hours of sleep or nine, you're probably sleep-deprived. Your body hasn’t had enough time to rest and regenerate.'
2. You rely on sugar and caffeine
'Strong sugar and caffeine cravings can be caused by tiredness. Your body responds to a lack of rest by relying on these stimulants to keep going.'
3. You can't concentrate
'When you're tired, it can be hard to concentrate and you may find yourself making "silly" mistakes at work. Research has shown that, after going for one night without sleep, we essentially operate at the same level as when we're drunk.'
4. You keep getting ill
'Poor immunity can be caused by a lack of sleep. A study found that people who sleep for less than seven hours a night are almost three times as likely to catch a cold as those who sleep for more than that. Your white blood cells (which fight infections) are reduced in number and those remaining are less effective.'
5. You're always hungry
'Sleep-deprived people have a higher than normal level of the hormone ghrelin, aka "the hunger hormone". This increases the desire to snack and consume carbs.'
6. You're putting on weight
'Because they have increased levels of the hunger hormone, sleep-deprived people are at a greater risk of weight gain and obesity.'
7. You feel clumsier
'Your reflexes are dulled when tired, so your balance and depth perception can be a little wonky. Your reaction times can also slow down, meaning that you're more likely to let things drop to the floor.'
8. You feel moody
'Feeling low, tearful and weepy can be due to a lack of rest, as sleep-deprivation can affect both your hormones and your brain’s ability to deal with emotional experiences.'
9. You’ve lost your sex drive
'If you're not in the mood for sex, tiredness could be to blame. Lack of sleep causes low energy levels, and also increases your body's production of cortisol, "the stress hormone".'
10. Your medical problems are worsening
'People with medical conditions, including diabetes and high blood pressure, who find that things are not improving, could be suffering from a lack of sleep. Research has shown that sleep-deprived diabetics become less sensitive to insulin, for instance.'
Need help with your sleep routine? Here are 3 apps that'll help you have the best night's sleep ever...