How much sleep do you get vs how much sleep you need? Unfortunately, in our fast paced environment, sleep has taken a negative connotation. A Gallup poll conducted in 2014 revealed that about 40% of Americans get six hours or less of shut-eye time per night. No one says you shouldn’t sleep, but if people hear someone has slept for 9 straight hours, they might call that lazy.
This perception needs to change because like good nutrition and moderate exercise, restful sleep is critical to a healthy lifestyle. However, studies have also linked oversleeping to some negative consequences, so just how many hours of sleep do you need for your body to function optimally and lose weight fast?
How Does Sleep Affect Your Weight?
A lack of sleep has many negative health consequences on the human body and has been linked to cancer, obesity, neurodegenerative diseases, heart disease and diabetes. Research from the University of Columbia found that people who sleep less than seven hours per night are likely to weigh more than their counterparts. A more troubling conclusion is that sleep deprived adults are more likely to experience long-term weight gain and will have a more difficult time shedding the pounds afterwards. Researchers of another smaller study observed that adults who slept for only four hours during the night had higher blood pressure than those who were allowed to sleep for eight hours.
Your genetics play an important role in how much sleep you need. For some rare individuals, four to five hours of sleep will be sufficient to allow them to function well. Yet, a majority of us will suffer if we are consistently getting only six to seven hours of sleep. Although this amount will suffice to keep us functioning, over the long-term it will most certainly lead to chronic sleep deprivation symptoms.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get seven to nine hours of sleep per night. This is a general guideline, as sleep needs vary from adult to adult. The best method to discover the amount of sleep hours you need is to monitor your sleeping time and the related behavior patterns, along with the moods you experience. This is important as for some people sleeping seven hours a day will be fine, but for others, it will lead to lower productivity and more health issues, including weight gain.
How Much Sleep Do You Need To Lose Weight?
So how much sleep do you need to kickstart your metabolism? Find out by noting if you feel alert and energetic throughout the day, from the time you wake up until you get back to sleep at night. Other signs that could lead you to conclude you need to sleep more include:
- Needing an alarm to wake up in the morning
- Having to push yourself out of bed
- Drowsy during speeches, meetings or in warm rooms
- Sleepy while driving or after a heavy lunch
- Feeling lethargic during afternoons
- Falling asleep in the evening while watching TV or reading a book
- Falling asleep immediately after you lie down at night
If you have been asking, “how much sleep do you need to lose weight?”, the answer is directly linked to how much sleep you need to function at your optimum level. Proper sleep will regulate your hormones which are linked to appetite control. A lack of sleep will increase the body’s production of ghrelin, a hormone that increases your appetite, and decrease the production of leptin, a hormone that tells you when you are satiated.
Now that you know recommended sleep time, you can use the guidelines above to find out how many hours you need to be at your best and lose weight faster because you are sleeping right.
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