Really, How Much Sleep Do Adults Need?
We all know (and totally love...) that one person who swears they can get by, consequence-free, on just a few hours of sleep. But science says they may not be telling the whole truth. In fact, skimping on just a few hours of sleep has some pretty telling effects on your health and wellness. So what’s the magic amount? You probably know the answer already: Most experts agree adults need seven to nine hours of quality shuteye a night to be at their best every day.
Think You Need Less? Think Again.
While you may believe you can squeak by on fewer hours, even getting a little less than the recommended amount can have a serious impact on your physical and mental well-being.
A recent study found that women who get six or fewer hours of sleep per night were more likely to gain weight, versus those who slept seven-plus hours. Participants who got less sleep were, ultimately, less active and much hungrier – too little sleep triggered a hormonal shift that caused these unwelcome side effects. Lack of sleep negatively affects your immune system, too, making you vulnerable to sickness and a slower recovery. Finally, poor sleep can also lead to reduced cognitive function, including slower reaction times.
Lack of sleep and poor sleep quality are also tied to nutrient loss. Too much nutrient loss and you’ll start to see it staring back at you in the mirror—think dull skin, dark under-eye circles and “bags,” along with weak, thinning hair. It’s, no doubt, the opposite of the fresh-faced look we’re all striving for!
The Rewards of Rest
On the opposite end of the spectrum, getting enough sleep touts a host of benefits that even a day at the spa might not replace. From more energy and a speedier metabolism to more youthful looking skin and shinier hair, getting the “right” amount of sleep has a host of attractive effects.
Reprioritize with Sleep in Mind
The takeaway? Don’t roll the dice when it comes to sleep. Reprioritize and find other activities to forego so that you can focus on getting the necessary zzz’s every single night. That extra hour or two you’re gaining by going to bed late or waking up early may not be worth it if your health and well-being suffer as a result.
Third-party references and links provided in this article are for educational purposes only. No sponsorship or endorsement is implied. Information was used from the Mayo Clinic and the National Sleep Foundation.
© Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. 2017