Have you heard the phrase “I’ll sleep when I’m dead?” I used to think this was clever, I now know how important sleep really is!
There is a reason there is a Starbucks on every corner, and it’s because most of us do not get enough sleep. But how much is enough? 4 hours is not enough, neither is 6. A lot of patients tell me “I don’t need much sleep”. Then I remind them, they are in the doctor’s office, so something is bothering them.
With regards to weight, people who get less than 8 hours and those who work the night shift often weigh more than their well-slept counterparts.
Not enough sleep increases your body’s secretion of Ghrelin (the hormone that makes you feel hungry) and decreases your body’s production of leptin (the hormone that makes you feel full). Two huge reasons to get more sleep!
Lack of sleep throws the body into a stressed state, which causes a rise in cortisol. Cortisol is that stress hormone that causes free radicals, which in turn causes more rapid aging and propensity to illness (from colds to cancer) two more reasons to get 8 hours of sleep. Every night.