Growing up, I was always told that you needed a full 8 hours a night. But in this age of work emails on your phone and binge watching Netflix (Queer Eye reboot anyone?!), it’s hard to even get 5. So how much sleep do I really need?
On average, adults need 7 – 9 hours of sleep a night. It does vary from person to person, though. It’s important to listen to your body – if you know you need a full 9 to not be a zombie for your 10am meeting, be sure not to scrimp on your Z’s!
Why is Sleep so Important?
Brain Power – Have you ever pulled an all-nighter to study in college, just to find that you couldn’t remember any of the information during the exam? Your brain needs sleep to function properly – focus, memory, and attention are all compromised with too little sleep.
Healthy Weight – Not getting enough sleep disrupts the hormones that control your appetite, making you eat more and crave sugary foods.
Mental & Physical Health – Regular skimping on sleep increases your risk of catching a cold by 4.5 times! Lack of sleep can also increase your risk of anxiety and depression.
Heart Health – Not getting enough sleep is associated with an increased risk of stroke and heart attacks.
Ok, so I definitely need more sleep. How can I do that?
Make Sleep your Priority – Schedule sleep like it’s another task on your to-do list. If you prioritize your sleep, it’s easier to say no to that next episode of Friends.
Make a Routine – While it’s tempting to throw your schedule to the wind on weekends, your body functions well on a sleep routine. Try to keep bedtimes around the same time every day.
Avoid Caffeine too late in the day – Try to stop drinking coffee and caffeinated sodas by 2pm so that it doesn’t make your sleep impossible!
Turn off your Screens! – I know I’m guilty of scrolling through Instagram before I fall asleep, but it’s so important to get those electronics out of your bed. The brain stimulation and artificial light are seriously not conducive to sleep.
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