10 Signs You May Be Sleep Deprived

Diminished Motor Skills
When you need sleep, you can't perform routine tasks well.
When you need sleep, you can't perform routine tasks well.

If life suddenly feels like a slapstick routine, it may be a sign that you need more sleep.

Researchers discovered that after you've gone a night without sleep, you're essentially operating on the same level as someone who's legally intoxicated [source: The Franklin Institute]. When you're sleep deprived, your mouth may not be able to get the words out as you try to communicate. Slurred speech, stuttering and speaking in monotone are clues that point to sleep deprivation. You may also fumble with small objects and be unsteady on your feet.

Sleep-deprived people have decreased activity in the temporal lobe of the cerebral cortex, an area of the brain that helps us process language. But another part of the brain -- the parietal region -- picks up the slack, explaining why we can speak at all when short on sleep.

Sleep deprivation also leads to slower reaction times. Studies show it affects speed before it affects accuracy (be it physical or mental). But stay awake a little longer, and you'll be neither quick nor accurate.

Next: If you've been kicked to the couch, your loved one may be refusing to accommodate your sleep deprivation.

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