There are a few tell tale signs that you may be lacking sleep which include fatigue, irritability, weakened immune response, high blood pressure and even depression. Training and exercising when tired is deleterious, no matter how hard you push you are limited, but this it seems could be the least of your problems! Other problems may include:
Find yourself forgetting things?! Remembering the name of the quiet chap in the corner of the office, or the password for your Facebook account may be a little more difficult if you aren’t getting a minimum of 6-8 hours sleep each night.
Appetite is not usually a problem when training is at its peak, it makes you want to eat anything and everything, but throw in some stress hormones such as cortisol and disrupt the hormones involved in glucose metabolism (glucagon and insulin), and you might find your dietary routine takes a turn for the worst!
Other hormonal problems associated with a lack of sleep include reduced testosterone release and lower levels of growth hormone. Combine this with elevated levels of cortisol and your poor muscles take a right pounding, the net result is muscle catabolism (breakdown) and reduced growth.
When we are severely tired, our responsiveness and concentration is similar to that of a drunken person! If you’re finding you are day dreaming and vacantly staring into space, or maybe small things are distracting you, then the simple act of getting to sleep a bit earlier may give you the lease of life you need!