You Look Older Than Your Age
A recent study in The National Library of Medicine concluded that long-term poor quality sleep can result in “increased intrinsic aging” — or accelerated signs of the aging process. If you have dark circles under your eyes and more noticeable wrinkles, your sleep deprivation might be making you look older than you are. During quality sleep, your skin gets a bigger supply of blood to restore collagen and repair damage. Without restorative sleep, your skin — the biggest organ of the human body — suffers noticeable consequences.
You’re on an Emotional Roller Coaster
Have you been feeling angrier than usual and moodier in general? These could be signs that you’re not getting enough high-quality sleep. According to Psychology Today, “…some research suggests that sleep deprivation enhances negative mood due to increased amygdala activity (a brain structure integral to experiences of negative emotions such as anger and rage) and a disconnect between the amygdala and the area of the brain that regulates its functions.” That biochemical disruption adds up to one pretty sound hypothesis — the worse your quality of sleep, the crankier you’re going to be.
You’re Battling Anxiety and Depression
Long-term sleep disorders can lead to serious mental health challenges, including anxiety and depression. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) states that research shows most mental health disorders are linked in part to low-quality sleep. The ADAA recommends supporting yourself with meditation, stress relieving activities (like listening to soothing music), and contacting your doctor for help getting better sleep. You might be referred to a sleep clinic, as well as a therapist for emotional support.