We know how important sleep is for our health (and our sanity). We try our best to get as much shut-eye as possible, but that's easier said than done when you have a million things on your plate. The topic of sleep becomes even more urgent when you put it in the frame of weight loss.
Consistently getting a solid night of sleep prevents you from overeating, reduces belly fat, and gives you energy and a clear mind to make smarter diet choices throughout the day. Knowing this, the next question is how much sleep we actually need in order to reap these benefits and achieve our weight-loss goals.
A 2014 study conducted by the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control found that adults between the ages of 18 and 60 who get less than seven hours of sleep per night are at a higher risk of being obese, contracting diabetes, and being under mental distress. And according to the National Sleep Foundation, people aged 18 to 64 need between seven and nine hours of sleep per night.
A good way to find out how much sleep your body actually needs is to go to sleep without setting your alarm clock (so you should probably do this on a weekend) and see when you naturally wake up. That allows your body to tell you exactly how much sleep it's truly craving. Let that be your starting point.
If you're trying to lose weight, it's safe to say that you should be sleeping at least seven hours every night. If you can get closer to nine, though, that's better. With all the dietary and fitness changes you're making to your lifestyle, you will need all the rest you can get.
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