Life is truly a balancing act. Even with an established routine + using your planner//CHAARG Fit Journal to get organized, you may feel like you’re being pulled in every direction attempting to get everything accomplished. Nobody likes to miss out on the excitement of life [hangin’ with friends, attending football games, + conquering your daily #CHAARGFITPLAN sweat sesh], so we tend to try + fit it all in. But squeezing all of those activities into 24 hours usually comes with a pretty high cost. So how do we manage to find *extra hours* in the day? Usually, by subtracting from our sleep schedule.
It’s all too easy for one late night cram sesh or night out with friends to turn into multiple nights in a row, running off 6 hours of sleep or less. ++ believe us, it really starts to catch up with you — in ways you may not even realize. If one [or all…] of these symptoms sound familiar, it may be time to catch some more Zzz’s:
1] YOU FALL ASLEEP IMMEDIATELY
Those nights when you doze off to sleep immediately as your head hits the pillow are joyous. If you’ve ever tackled the Whole 30, you know this is a common [+ welcomed!] side effect. However, If you have not made any recent changes//if it usually takes you a little while to doze off — if you find yourself falling asleep in less than five minutes every night, there’s a good chance you’re edging on major sleep deprivation.
2] YOU’RE GETTING SICK MORE FREQUENTLY
Getting sick every now + then is unavoidable [especially in college], but feeling run down for more than a week at a time is no fun. A study showed that those who get less than 5 hours of sleep per night are four times more likely to catch the common cold than those who slept for more than 6.
3] YOU CAN’T SEEM TO REMEMBER ANYTHING
Sleep helps keep our brains healthy + memories sharp. When we’re lacking sleep, we’re making it harder for ourselves to remember even the simplest tasks, like why we walked into a room, or the name of someone we just met. Catching more Zzz’s will make you feel more attentive + present in the moment.
4] YOU’RE CONSTANTLY CRAVING JUNK FOOD
As health + fitness enthusiasts, we know whole foods like fruits + veggies will make us feel most energized. But when we’re running low on sleep, our bodies tend to crave junk food [+ lots of it!]. This is because when we run on less than 6 hours of sleep, studies show that we develop increased levels of ghrelin [the hormone that makes us hungry] + decreased levels of leptin [the hormone that decreases appetite] — aka a potentially dangerous combo. Making sure you get enough sleep at night will make it much easier for you to make positive nutrition choices the next day.
5] YOU’RE A LITTLE CLUMSY
Ok, we all have days when we can’t seem to stop knocking into something or dropping whatever’s in our hands. When clumsiness becomes a new-found personality trait, it may be an indication of lack of sleep. If our mind//body is tired, our motor skills also suffer — which may cause you to trip over yourself a little more often.
6] YOU HAVE A SHORT FUSE
Being short on sleep also makes it pretty easy to have a quick temper. Do little, daily annoyances suddenly seem like a way bigger deal? Are you struggling to stay patient in almost every situation? That’s not you, + it’s not fun [for anyone!] Get back to feelin’ like yourself by getting to sleep earlier.
7] YOU’RE BREAKING OUT
Ugh. We can all agree that breaking out is the worst. Even if you wash your face before + after your sweat sesh, lack of sleep may still be causing your acne to stick around. Before overhauling your entire skincare routine, try the simple solution first — getting that extra hour of shut eye may be all that’s needed to clear up your skin.
While in the moment it may not seem like a big deal to cut your sleep time short for a night out or to cram in a couple extra hours of studying, lack of sleep will eventually catch up with you + hit you hard. Keeping yourself healthy doesn’t only happen in the gym or in the kitchen , it’s equally important to get a good night’s sleep!
+xo Natalie [@natalie_inchaarg], VirtCHAARG girl from Grand Rapids
+ Photography // Kaitlyn Bowman [@kaitb_inchaarg]