You may know that your genetic makeup, what you eat, how often you exercise — and even stress — affect your weight and health. But, did you know that how much sleep you get — too much or too little — also can affect body weight and health? If you’re trying to slim down or even maintain your weight, getting your zzzz’s is just as important as hitting the gym.
Most Americans aren’t getting enough sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation. On average, adults report sleeping about seven and a half hours on weekdays. A Gallup Poll concurred revealing that 40 percent of Americans get less than seven hours of sleep each night.
So how much sleep do we need?
The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults and kids get the following amount of sleep:
Newborns — 14 to 17 hours Infants — 12 to 15 hours Toddlers — 11 to 14 hours Preschoolers — 10 to 13 hours School age — 9 to 11 hours Teens — 8 to 10 hours Young adults — 7 to 9 hours Adults — 7 to 9 hours Older Adults 65+ — 7 to 8 hours
Chronic partial sleep loss can be more harmful to us than just making us feel tired. It may increase the risk of obesity and weight gain, and weaken the immune system. There are studies that show that adequate sleep duration and quality are important for the normal functioning of daily metabolic and hormonal processes and appetite regulation. Chronic sleep deprivation has harmful effects on carbohydrate metabolism and is associated with an increased risk of diabetes. Sleep restriction can decrease glucose and insulin sensitivity, two critical factors involved in the development or prevention of diabetes.
Another major problem associated with a lack of sleep is an increased daytime cortisol level. High levels of cortisol healthy muscle
So how do you ensure you get the proper amount of sleep to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle?
Determine the recommended amount of sleep you need, and then establish a bedtime and wake time. Stick with it — even on the weekends. You will have the most restorative sleep if sleep is predictable.