US President Barack Obama yawns as he attends the East Asian Summit Plenary Session at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh on November 20, 2012. During the two-day East Asia Summit, Obama was scheduled to hold talks with the leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) along with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Japan’s Premier Yoshihiko Noda. AFP PHOTO Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

As an entrepreneur, it can seem like you’re always racing against the clock. It’s important to pay attention to signs your body gives you when it’s getting burnt out. The recommended dose of sleep required in a day is 8 hours, however some of us need less while others need more. A few sleepless nights never hurt anyone, however overtime, a lack of sleep can actually begin to negatively affect your health. Here are a few signs you should pay attention to.

Weak Immunity

If you find that you’re becoming sick more often, it may be a sign that you aren’t getting enough sleep. Prolonged lack of sleep disrupts your immune system making you more prone to other health issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and health disease when you’re missing out on your vital snooze time.

Weight Gain

Finding you’ve got a few extra rolls on your sides and seem like it just happened over night? It probably did. Sleep-deprived people have reduced levels of leptin (the chemical that makes you feel full) and increased levels of ghrelin (the hunger-stimulating hormone) which means you’re more prone to late night snacking. The accumulation of sleepless nights make you more likely to be at risk of obesity, so tuck in and make sure it’s for long enough.

Lower Sex Drive

Bed action takes energy and you won’t get that by missing out on a good night of sleep. Research shows that those who get less sleep have lower libidos and a lower interest in having sex. It’s therefore important in order to keep your sex life alive that you get enough rest at night.

Mental Wellbeing

If you find yourself becoming increasingly irritable, getting angry quicker or slacking in work, and unable to concentrate you might want to check that you’re not sleep deprived. Lack of sleep can lead to long term disorders like anxiety and depression so do take your sleep time seriously.

Many entrepreneurs are motivated by phrases such as ‘I will sleep when I die’, however that doesn’t need to be your reality just yet. No matter how busy you get, sleep should be a priority as if you become sick and your quality of life reduces, all of the work you’re losing sleep over won’t get done anyway. Pay attention to any signs that your body gives you to let you know that it’s running on empty. It’s ok to hit the pause button and get a good night of rest.

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