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Why Science Says Adults Still Need 7 to 8 Hours of Sleep

June 19th, 2019

You’ve likely heard someone brag about their sleep habits in your professional career. Instead of talking about how late they slept on a Saturday, adults discuss how few hours of sleep they actually need a night to keep functioning. With so much going on, it’s easy to think you’re doing fine with just four hours, but science affirms that seven to eight hours of sleep are needed for adults.

The longer you go on sleeping either too much or not enough, the worse the effects can get. Here are a few reasons why science wants you to get more sleep.

You’ll eat better

When your body is resting, so is your need to move and consume. Getting seven to eight hours keeps your hunger signals on the correct schedule which can keep you from overeating. Not sleeping enough, however, causes the brain to release more chemicals signaling hunger, causing you to want more food.

You’ll remember more

If you aren’t sleeping enough, neither is your brain. As a result, it’s overworked and unable to process information as quickly as usual. It becomes harder to hold onto information and access it when needed. More than just memory, you both process and react to events differently through your sleepy brain.

You’ll live longer

Research has found it doesn’t matter if you’re sleeping too much or not enough, either of these habits increases your risk of death from all causes. There’s even an increased risk of premature death, either 12% if you’re undersleeping and 30% if you’re oversleeping.

You’ll get less diseases

Every so often, we all have a bad night when we don’t get enough sleep. The real problems come when it develops into a chronic issue. On top of everything else, a lack of sleep leads to obesity, diabetes and heart disease, among other ailments.

Build better habits

To treat yourself better, you have to factor in sleeping well. Start scheduling your downtime and bedtime to help fall asleep and maintain a better routine. Don’t have caffeine too close to bedtime and don’t spend too much time in your bed watching TV or reading. Stay active and practice stress relief throughout the day to calm your mind.

 

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