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 (1Trusted Source, 2Trusted Source).
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) (3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source).
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 (6Trusted Source).
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 (7Trusted Source).
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.
SummaryShort sleep duration is associated with an increased risk of developing obesity and weight gain. Sleep deprivation may increase your appetite and cause you to eat more calories. In particular, you’re more likely to eat foods high in sugar and fat.
2. Can improve concentration and productivity
Sleep is important for various aspects of brain function.
A specific study on overworked physicians provides a good example. It found that doctors with moderate, high, and very high sleep-related impairment were 54%, 96%, and 97% more likely to report clinically significant medical errors (15Trusted Source).
SummaryGood sleep can maximize problem-solving skills and enhance memory. In contrast, poor sleep has been shown to impair brain function and decision making skills.
3. Can maximize athletic performance
Sleep has been shown to enhance athletic performance.
Numerous studies have shown that adequate sleep can enhance fine motor skills, reaction time, muscular power, muscular endurance, and problem-solving skills (23Trusted Source, 24Trusted Source, 25Trusted Source).
What’s more, lack of sleep may increase your risk of injury and lower your motivation to exercise (24Trusted Source).
So, getting enough sleep may be just the thing you need to take your performance to the next level.
Summary Getting enough sleep has been shown to improve many aspects of athletic and physical performance.