what are the biological and chemical processes that make us look tired when we don’t have enough sleep?

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what are the biological and chemical processes that make us look tired when we don’t have enough sleep?

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A lot of it has to do with not spending the effort needed to keep posture and facial expression normal. Coordination also becomes sloppy. At extreme sleep deprivation you see bags under the eyes from trace amounts of blood leaking from bruised tissues.

At the biological and chemical levels we see muscle fibers wear out and acquire micro-tears. Usually, this heals up during sleep. Melatonin builds up in the brain which can be distracting but this is merely the brain signaling that it needs sleep to sort through all the memories it acquired.