How your appearance changes when you're sleep deprived, apparently
Let’s face it, being tired seems to be the new normal. We’re a nation feeling burnt out, exhausted and even a little on edge.
But tiredness doesn’t just impact how we feel, it can also impact how we look.
Enter: Sleep Deprived Sally and her equally tired friend, Sleep Deprived Sam.
The two characters have been created by the brand Happy Beds, using insight from the NHS and working alongside sleep psychologist Katherine Hall, of Somnus Therapy.
The current NHS guidelines suggest all adults need to be getting anywhere between seven and nine hours of quality shut-eye each night. This amount of undisturbed rest allows us to function at our best, and to look our best.
But what happens if you’re not getting the amount of sleep you need?
Sally and Sam are pictured above having both had the recommended hours of sleep. They look glowy and bright, with no dark circles under their eyes or defined lines. Plus, they also just look happy.
The creative team created visualisations to reflect what the pair might look like without sleep.
When Sally and Sam are deprived for 24 hours, sleep dark circles are visible, their eyes and face are a little puffy. One could say they aren’t looking so fresh.
Feelings such as anger, irritability as well as food cravings becoming more likely at this point, while their alertness is decreased and they’re more likely to make some mistakes.
After 72 hours of sleep deprivation all the above symptoms grow as well as a person’s need to rest. Decision-making is impaired and their reactions slow.
At this point Sally and Sam may even begin to experience ‘microsleeps,’ which only last about 30 seconds and individuals aren’t even aware they’ve occurred.
More obvious physical symptoms include extreme fatigue, increased inflammation, and a compromised immune system.
At the four day mark they’ll be really struggling to stay awake and possibly even hallucinating – hearing and seeing things that aren’t there. All the above symptoms will be exacerbated, but they may also feel a sense of depersonalisation.
It’s possible they’ll even feel like you’re looking at themselves from outside their own body, and that their surroundings aren’t real.
We can see Sally and Sam at the five-day mark without any sleep. They have very defined lines and dark circles. Their mood is no longer happy and their complexion is very dull. Their noses are red indicating their immune systems are compromised.
By this point, Sam and Sally will be experiencing delusions, illusions, and disordered thinking.
Of course, this is just a creative exercise and as with any such visual predictions, the images should be taken with a pinch of salt.
Still, they make for a timely reminder to prioritise sleep in your life.
There are wealth of reasons why you may feel tired all the time and be sleep deprived.
According to the NHS, the mental reasons include stress, emotional shock, depression and anxiety.
When it comes to physical causes of tiredness, pregnancy, being over or underweight, sleep apnoea, iron deficiency and underactive thyroid may be factors.
Lifestyle factors that could disrupt your sleep include alcohol, not enough exercise, caffeine, working night shifts and taking naps during the day.
If you’ve been consistently tired you should consult your doctor.
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