Did you know that one of the easiest ways to improve your health is to get adequate and high-quality sleep? Many Americans fall short on their daily recommended hours of sleep per night. Recent scientific research suggests that prioritizing quality sleep, at least 7.5 hours per night on average, can have remarkable health benefits for people of all ages and backgrounds.
Why is sleep so important to health? Sleep is a time when the body restores and heals. When the body rests in sleep mode, it is allowed to repair and renew itself. Studies suggest that receiving adequate sleep can help improve heart function, properly regulate hormones which regulate appetite, and may support long-term weight loss.
Michael Breus, PhD, author of Beauty Sleep and the clinical director of the sleep division for Arrowhead Health in Glendale, Ariz., suggests that on average most adults need approximately 7.5 hours of sleep per night.
“if you are a five-hour sleeper and start to sleep for seven hours a night, you will start dropping weight,” says Dr. Breus.
Late-night television, computer use, eating too soon before bed, and stress, are all factors that can contribute to insomnia or poor quality of sleep. Experts recommend that we stop eating at least 3 hours before bed, since the metabolism slows during sleep. In addition to cutting down on late night electronic time and allowing the body time to digest dinner before hitting the sack, it can be helpful to listen to relaxing music, take a warm or shower, spend relaxing time with loved ones, meditate or read a book to ease into sleep mode.
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