How much sleep do you need

Sleep.  Everyone knows they need more of it, but as we get older we tend to get less of it.  It’s no secret that kids need more sleep than adults.  The national sleep foundation recommends that teens get 8-10 hours of sleep per day while young children get even more.

What about adults? It’s very common for adults to sleep less as they reach middle age.  Kids, work, life, and increases in stress all contribute.  Also, are the changes in one’s hormonal makeup. 

Professors at the University of Chicago say, “The amount of sleep a person needs do not change but their perception of sleep does.” Since the human body is so incredibly adaptive, we simply get used to sleeping and functioning on less sleep.  Just like if you more to a warmer or colder climate you will eventually get used to the weather.

The human body need for sleep does not change with age. However, since most adult feel as though they do not need as much sleep it may be setting them up for some unhealthy consequences down the road.
Consistent lack of sleep (less than 6hrs) on a weekly basis can lead to and increase in the following health concerns.

  • Obesity – Lack of sleep increase cortisol your bodies, an ANTI-anabolic and inflammation hormone leading to increase in body fat.
  • Diabetes – Lack of sleep prevents the bodies natural metabolic mechanisms from working throwing off one’s blood sugar throughout the day.
  • Heart Disease – Lack of sleep prevents the heart from going into “rest” mode and night and forces it to work harder during the night as well is increasing potential for arteriosclerosis.

What are some measures you can take to ensure you get enough sleep or at least a better quality of the sleep you do get?

  1. Go to Bed Early – Going to bed early means you get extra time to get into “sleep Mode”.
  2. Go to Bed at the Same Time Every Day – The human body is a rhythmic organism it likes consistency and routine.  Treat sleep the same way. 
  3. Shut off the TV & Phones – About one hour before bed cut out any screen time.  Studies show that blue light greatly affect the brains ability to shit down. 
  4. Read or Journal – Reading and or journaling is a great way to distract you mind from stress or get some of your thoughts out of your head and onto paper.  Think of it as a way of clearing the slate before the next day.
  5. Eat More Carbs at Night – Low carb diets can lead to restlessness.  If you’re having issues sleeping eat some more cabs with dinner to make you feel fuller and give your brain the nutrients it needs to relax.
  6. Try a Sleep Supplement – Some people do great taking a magnesium and melatonin supplement.  They help “reset” the brains natural chemicals that tell you it’s time for bed.  As with any supplement consult your doctor before taking! 

Bottom line gang is that if you want to live healthy and perform at your best you need 7-8hrs of good deep sleep per night…Or you could be setting yourself up for long term issues down the road!

Stay Strong,
Coach Joe

Stay Strong,
Coach Joe

Check the previous post: Flex Friday #7 – What outdoor activities burn the most calories?