During those vital hours of shut eye, our body is working hard. Whilst in the land of nod our bodies produce growth hormone (GH), which as you’ve probably guessed it, helps us to grow. These crucial rest periods are when the body is working at its hardest, building muscle and repairing itself.
To be honest, this depends on several factors, including you as an individual; the amount of activity you undertake and your lifestyle habits. There isn’t an exact science to how much sleep you need but between the ages of 15-35 years, the recommendation is to have around 7-9 hours. You’ll probably hear some individuals say “well I only need 5 hours.” That’s fine but they’ll never reach their true potential! We recommend around 7-9 hours to give your body the best possible chance to be at it’s best and feel better. Experiment with different amounts over a week and see what makes you feel the best. Remember the more hard hitting you are in your exercise regime the more sleep you more than likely need.
Also another piece of advice (and I’m sorry about this), but generally avoid a weekend lie in! Studies (as published in the American Journal of Health), suggest that your body responds better to routine and that people who maintain an unvarying sleep routine have a smoother running immune system and lower percentage of body fat than those who keep irregular sleep hours. If you don’t have enough sleep, you may also wake up hungry!
This is because you need a full nights sleep to give your body time to balance two hormones; gherkin and Leptin: Why are these important? Well, they are hunger controlling hormones. Sleeping and feeding are very closely related. Recent studies show that when an individual has restricted sleep, the levels of leptin a hormone released by the fat cells that signals satisfaction to the brain and in turn suppresses appetite significantly falls. In a kind of body reverse, gherlin a hormone that stimulates the feeling of hunger (appetite) is moved into overdrive, so again we feel that empty feeling. Thus making us hungry when we awake and craving that extra snack! So extra sleep can help with that health lifestyle and diet (although I don’t like the word diet).
Sleep deprivation can also cause chaos with our ability to handle stress and relationships. This is mainly due to sleep deprivation causing a lowering of your attention span and your ability to process information.