The Science of Motivation

Signs You Aren’t Getting Enough Sleep

Are you always in a poor mood and aren’t sure why? Do you feel tired throughout the day, even when you felt like you've had plenty of sleep? Are you finding it hard to concentrate? If so, you might be dealing with sleep deprivation. Even if you are in bed for what seems like 6-8 hours a night, that doesn’t mean you are sleeping that long or getting enough rest. Here are a few of the signs you are not getting enough sleep.
You Have Been Cranky
When you don’t get enough sleep, you are much more vulnerable to mood swings, irritability, and even anger. You might find that you are constantly in a bad mood, and don’t even know why. When this happens regularly, it is a good idea to try to figure out why this is happening, especially when you can’t figure out any other reason for it.
Try to take a look at your sleep recently, and figure out if the moodiness started shortly after you noticed the quality of your sleep went down. Remember that your mood and attitude doesn’t just affect you, but your family, friends, relationships, and other people you come in contact with.
You Are Really Hungry
Are you suddenly ravenous? Do you have a larger appetite than you remember having before? This can also be a big sign that you are not getting enough sleep. Your appetite changes quite a bit base don your emotional state, and whether or not you are getting adequate sleep at night.
When you don’t get enough sleep, the hormone in your gut called ghrelin, can increase. This makes you feel hungrier than normal, and often with more cravings of sugar, refined carbs, and otherwise unhealthy food options. The hunger and increased cravings might dissipate if you start improving your quality of sleep. I've dealt with this consistently, craving donuts and other "junk" in the morning when I'm sleep deprived. The problem with giving in to this is that you will then be dealing with the coming sugar crash along with being tired. Not a good combination...
Your Productivity is Way Down
Another significant and unhelpful way a lack of sleep affects you is with less concentration, focus, and productivity. Maybe you notice that you can’t focus for long stretches of time anymore, or your concentration is failing quite a bit. You might have less productivity at work, and are actually suffering as a result of it.
The first thing to do when you have these issues is to figure out if something has changed recently. Start with whether or not you are getting quality of sleep. If you aren’t sure how your sleep is, because it seems like you are sleeping just fine, consider these other signs of sleep deprivation as well.

You are Forgetting Things
You could also be experiencing lower memory function as a result of sleep deprivation. When you go to sleep, you go through multiple phases, with the fifth phase being REM sleep. The later phases, including stage 3 and 4, are when you enter deep sleep. All of these are important for brain function, but especially that crucial deep sleep. This is when your brain is able to hold onto memories from the day before, and use them for long-term memory storage. If you never get deep sleep, you might start noticing major holes in your long-term memory.