We need on average about 7.5 hours of quality sleep per night.
Sleep loss results in metabolic and endocrine changes including:
– decreased glucose tolerance: stop smoking and using alcohol. Smoking keeps you awake and prevents the onset of sleep entirely. Alcohol is damaging to the sleep cycle.
– decreased insulin sensitivity
– increased evening concentrations of cortisol (eliminate caffeine, evening exercise, negative thoughts before sleep)
– increased levels of the hormone which tells us when to eat: ghrelin
– decreased levels of the hormone which tells us when to stop eating: leptin
– increased hunger and appetite
Besides other benefits, sleep is responsible for the proper functioning of the immune system.
If you are continuously experiencing trouble with your sleep, consider consulting a medical professional. There are some medical issues which can cause sleep problems.