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How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?
Don't shortchange yourself because it could cost you your health

By Julie Davis
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, July 20, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Health initiatives typically center on diet and fitness. But the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society state that getting enough sleep is just as important as eating right and exercising.

Your health can truly suffer if you're constantly shortchanging yourself on sleep. Heart disease, diabetes and obesity as well as the risk of accidents like car crashes top the list. More than the embarrassment of falling asleep at an important meeting, sleep deprivation can result in cognitive impairment -- your judgment just isn't as sharp as it should be.

Missing out on needed sleep leads to higher levels of stress hormones and the hormones that regulate hunger. That can lead to the possibility of overeating and gaining weight. Poor sleep also been associated with increases in the inflammatory markers often seen with autoimmune diseases.

Over a third of American adults say they sleep less than 7 hours a night -- the trigger point at which health problems can start. Worse still, the number of people getting less than 6 hours is on the rise. Many think that as long as they can still function, they must be getting enough sleep.

So what's the right amount of nightly sleep?

Everyone has his or her unique needs, but on average 7 to 8 hours is associated with the lowest risk of heart disease. Some people may need 9 hours. But like Goldilocks, you want to get just the right amount -- not too little or too much. Some studies have found an association between more than 8 hours of sleep and obesity.

More information

Learn more about the importance of sleep from the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=723656

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
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Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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