There are so many things that can get into the way of a good night’s sleep: work, stress, kids, school, or…Conan O’Brien. Who has time to lay in bed for so long? As Charles Bixton said, “You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.“
Listen up Healthy Fit members: Sleep is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. Besides experiencing less energy, without enough sleep you…
- could get sick
- could feel depressed
- could affect your decision-making abilities
- and you could even gain an unhealthy amount of weight.
As a matter of fact, a in a study involving 9,000 people between 1982 and 1984, researchers found that people who averaged six hours of sleep per night were 27 percent more likely to be overweight than their seven-to-nine hour counterparts; and those averaging five hours of sleep per night were 73 percent more likely to be overweight.
What’s the Right Amount of Sleep?
Good question. According to the National Sleep Foundation, there is no “magic number.”
“Each one of us has a unique sleep requirement. Our sleep need depends upon genetic and physiological factors and also varies by age, sex, and previous sleep amounts. However, a simple definition of sufficient sleep is a sleep duration that is followed by a spontaneous awakening and leaves one feeling refreshed and alert for the day.”
A general consensus though, is somewhere between 7 and 9 hours.
How to Get Better Sleep
The National Sleep Foundation offers the following tips on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Website:
- Go to bed at the same time each night and rise at the same time each morning.
- Make sure your bedroom is a quiet, dark, and relaxing environment, which is neither too hot or too cold.
- Make sure your bed is comfortable and use it only for sleeping and not for other activities, such as reading, watching TV, or listening to music. Remove all TVs, computers, and other “gadgets” from the bedroom.
- Physical activity may help promote sleep, but not within a few hours of bedtime.
- Avoid large meals before bedtime.
Now… Go to bed!