A good night’s sleep is something that everyone knows they should be getting, but sleep loss is all too common! We are sleeping on average only 6.8 h per night, which is almost 2 h less than we did a century ago! Even worse, nearly one-third of adults report sleeping less than 6 h per night.
People who sleep less than 6 hours per night are more likely to develop diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and have more stomach fat!
Even sleep restriction to 5 h/night for just 1 week can drastically affect blood sugar levels, as well as lower testosterone levels in men. A lack of sleep also signals your brain to consume more food while burning fewer calories. Research has shown a 24% increase in hunger after sleep restriction, with appetite for carbohydrates being affected the most.
Sleep is vital for your brain-power. Sleeping 6 h/night for 2 weeks can result in cognitive decline equivalent to up to 2 nights of total sleep deprivation, with the people being largely unaware of these deficits. This means you can’t tell when you’re tired, and your work and health may be suffering!
How do you know when you’re sleeping enough? You should be able to wake up feeling alert, without needing an alarm clock. A good recommendation would be 7-8 hours for adults.