Getting a good night’s sleep is incredibly important for your health. In fact, it’s just as important as eating a balanced, nutritious diet and exercising.
Though sleep needs vary from person to person, most adults require between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night. Yet, up to 35% of adults in the United States don’t get enough sleep.
Sleep deprivation can put your health and safety at risk, which is why it’s essential that you prioritize and protect your sleep on a daily basis.
This article tells you 9 reasons why you need to get more sleep.
1. May help you maintain or lose weight
Numerous studies have associated short sleep — defined as sleeping fewer than 7 hours per night — with a greater risk of weight gain and a higher body mass index (BMI).
In fact, a 2020 analysis found that adults who slept fewer than 7 hours per night had a whopping 41% increased risk of developing obesity. Meanwhile, sleeping longer didn’t increase the risk.
The effect of sleep on weight gain is believed to be affected by numerous factors, including hormones and motivation to exercise.
For instance, sleep deprivation increases levels of ghrelin and decreases levels of leptin. Ghrelin is a hormone that makes us feel hungry while leptin makes us feel full. This may cause us to feel hungrier and overeat.
This is supported by various studies that have shown that sleep-deprived individuals have a bigger appetite and tend to eat more calories.
What’s more, to compensate for lack of energy, sleep deprivation may make you crave foods that are higher in sugar and fat, due to their higher calorie content.
To make matters worse, feeling tired after a night of too little sleep may leave you feeling unmotivated to hit the gym, go for a walk, or do whichever other physical activity you enjoy.
So, prioritizing sleep may support healthy body weight.