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It is a fact that everyone knows that an adult should sleep about 7 hours a day. But there is something you missed. Even if you sleep for 7 hours, if you do not feel rested, you do not have quality sleep.
Irregular, poor quality, after a little sleep, we start our daily rush without even finding time for a healthy breakfast. However, after 7 hours of quality sleep, it is necessary to start the day early in the morning and in a fit way. Studies show that people who are well-rested and start their day with a good breakfast perform better, are more productive, happy, and even more fit and healthy at work than those who leave home on an empty stomach. When we want to fight obesity or get rid of our excess weight, the first thing that comes to mind is regular nutrition, a strict diet, and exercise. Regular sleep is often neglected. However, to lose weight healthily, it has been proven that taking care of adequate and quality sleep along with a balanced diet facilitates fat loss. In short-term sleepers, an increase in body mass index and fat mass is observed as a result of being overweight. The main reason for this is that the body, which cannot get enough sleep, spends less energy because it is tired.
Why does short sleep make you gain weight?
Studies show that insufficient and poor quality sleep is a risk factor for the development of obesity. Its basis is increased hunger and appetite, which occur together with metabolic and hormonal changes such as decreased glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, increase in cortisol and ghrelin (appetite-increasing) hormone, and decrease in leptin hormone, which reduces appetite. There is also evidence that poor sleep provides the appropriate environment for the activation of obesity-provoking genes.
Insufficient sleep in terms of both duration and quality is considered a risk factor for the development of obesity and type 2 diabetes. It should be noted that a good night’s sleep should also be considered a critical health component, along with other health measures, in the prevention and treatment of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
How many hours of sleep does a healthy person need?
While the amount of sleep needed for a healthy life varies between 5-10 hours a day, depending on the age, season, region, and work, including genetic factors, an adult needs to sleep for an average of 6-8 hours. In addition, quality sleep plays a role among the reasons why a person who sleeps less for a while feels more rested than those who sleep more. At very advanced ages, sleep periods are shortened as bodily functions slow down and the duration of activity decreases during the day. It has been observed that people who are stressed and who cannot get rid of boredom for a long time sleep more, and those who have a positive outlook on life, who are optimistic, cheerful, and at peace with themselves, are satisfied with less sleep.
Is there any harm in getting too much sleep?
Those who sleep less or more than necessary are prone to many health problems, especially cardiovascular disease. Excess sleep can also lead to psychological disorders such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, respiratory diseases, muscle weakness, decreased body resistance, and depression.
What hours are best for sleep?
Melatonin hormone, which facilitates sleep and adjusts the sleep-wake cycle, begins to be secreted in the evening hours and continues to increase until 02:00–03:00 at night. In addition, since the growth hormone, which provides protein production and cell proliferation, reaches its highest level at 24.00, it is necessary to go to sleep at 11:00 at the latest.
External influences such as exposure to excessive light, watching television, and electromagnetism disrupt the functioning of this system by reducing the secretion of melatonin. Since cortisol and adrenaline secretion increases from 06:00 in the morning, sleep intensity and satisfaction do not occur.
In addition, a half-hour daytime sleep consisting of a deep and slow sleep period at noon, which is known to be more unproductive than other hours of the day and when one is prone to sleep, is also beneficial for the body.
For a quality sleep:
- Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day.
- Exercise regularly.
- Have your dinner at least 2-3 hours before bedtime.
- Do not drink caffeine-containing beverages such as tea, coffee, cola 3 hours before bedtime.
- Drinking warm milk 15 minutes before going to bed or making a warm exterior will make it easier for you to sleep.
- Do not keep devices such as television, computer, mobile phone in your bedroom, if any, turn them off.
- Make sure your bedroom is noise-free, dark, and tidy.
- Use an orthopedic mattress and pillow that is not too hard or too soft.
- Lie on your right side as much as possible. Lying prone or supine may be inconvenient in terms of respiratory and heart-related diseases.
- Choose battery-operated watches instead of cell phones for alarms.
In addition, reasons such as nasal congestion, sinusitis, sleep apnea syndrome, allergies, overweight, thyroid, heart, and rheumatic diseases that impair sleep quality may prevent your body from resting and cause you to experience other health problems. Therefore, if you want a night of quality sleep, make sure to have your general health checks.