The ultimate sleep guide

Sleep is vital for good mood, weight loss and looking healthy. So what happens when you don’t get enough?

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Sleep is vital for good mood, weight loss and looking healthy. So what happens when you don’t get enough?
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You thought not getting enough sleep only really depleted your energy, and maybe put you in a bit of a bad mood. In fact, a flurry of recent studies have found sleep deprivation can affect you in a whole host of ways. Here are six of the latest things to watch out for.

Your Appetite Goes Haywire You’ve probably noticed that if you’re tired, you get the munchies, and two new studies have explained why. First, a team at the University of Chicago found that insufficient sleep raises levels of a molecule called 2-AG in the body that stimulates appetite. On top of that, the second study found that when you’re sleep deprived parts of your brain that control food choices behave differently.

Activity in areas that help you make good decisions is blunted, while areas that give a feeling of reward from food ramp up their activity.

Defeat The Damage: “Forewarned is forearmed,” says Kate Swann, psychologist and author of Do You Really Want To Lose Sleep is vital for good mood, weight loss and looking healthy. So what happens when you don’t get enough?

Your body without sleep Weight. “Try and spot the eating patterns you fall into when you’re tired, so you’ll know how to beat them. If, for example, you know you reach for sugar at 3 pm, have a healthy snack at 2.30 pm instead. Also, address your reasoning. Yes, you’re tired and need a pick-me-up – but does it have to come from food? Could you get a boost from a walk around the block instead?”

It Interferes With Your Skin “Our study is the first to conclusively demonstrate that inadequate sleep is correlated with reduced skin health and accelerated ageing,” says Dr Elma Baron from University Hospitals Case Medical Center in the US. In fact, she found that the skin of poor sleepers not only had more signs of ageing, their skin also didn’t recover as quickly from damage from UV light and lost moisture faster than normal. Skincare company Estée Lauder (which funded Dr Elma’s research) explains that the skin performs a purification process at night called catabolism which helps with skin repair. If your sleep pattern disrupts this process, it doesn’t happen as effectively.

Defeat The Damage: Be extra vigilant with your SPF, but also try to increase your consumption of antioxidant-rich foods like pomegranate, garlic and green tea – they have all been shown to protect against UV damage from within.

You’re More Likely To Fight With Your Husband Even just one night of poor sleep can lead to arguments between loved ones – and these rows are likely to be fiercer than normal, say researchers at the University of California, Berkeley. They found that tiredness impairs your ability to gauge emotions, making it more likely someone will take offence for no reason.

Defeat The Damage: Try not to argue when you’re tired. But if an argument does start, relationship psychologist John Aiken suggests you avoid phrases that start with ‘you always’ or ‘you never’, as these often cause rows to blow up and spiral. “It can also be tempting to slip into personal attacks, for example, ‘you’re lazy’ or ‘you’re selfish’, but don’t. Keep focusing only on what you can do to resolve the situation, and remain calm even in the midst of arguments.”