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Sleepless: Desperately Seeking Snoozin’

Sleepless and run down? If you’re suffering from any of these symptoms, you might just need to get more sleep.

Not getting enough sleep can lead to long-term health problems, including a weakened hormone system, obesity, high blood pressure and depression. But even if you don’t feel tired, you might be suffering from symptoms of fatigue. Here are the signs to watch out for.

Sleepless symptom: Lack of strength

As well as testosterone — the male sex hormone responsible for building muscle, burning fat and controlling libido — other growth hormones are compromised by a lack of sleep, meaning you’ll struggle to bulk up muscles. Research has shown that reduced sleep raises cortisol levels, which breaks down muscle tissue and encourages fat storage.

Sleepless symptom: Lack of concentration

When you’re tired, your ability to stay focused is on a par with when you’re drunk, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal. Sleep deprivation makes your brain slower at processing information.

Sleepless symptom: Lack of appetite

Appetite fluctuates when you’re tired, either making you want to eat all the time or not at all. This is because lack of sleep disrupts hormones that regulate appetite, especially in young adults with less than seven hours’ sleep, according to a study in the journal Sleep.

Sleepless symptom: Lack of libido

Men who are healthy but go without sleep have lower levels of testosterone than those who do, according to a study in Journal of the American Medical Association. Getting only five hours a night can decrease testosterone levels by up to 10-15 percent.

Sleepless symptom: Lack of memory

Are you struggling to keep track of social plans? The ability to store this type of “declarative” memory is enhanced by sleep, research by Harvard Medical School found.

Sleep Easy: Prosomnia Sleep Formula – This natural sleep formula, made from valerian, helps improve sleep quality and natural sleep patterns. $29.95, howtosleepwell.com.au

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