Nine good hours. That’s my magic number. Anything less than that in regards to sleep, especially if it’s consecutive days, I start to crumble; mentally, physically, emotionally. You know, I’ve actually had people scoff at me about needing that much sleep before as if to imply that it’s a result of laziness. And there were moments when I worried it might be true. After all, I hear about people all the time who claim they are “good to go” with just six hours of sleep, sometimes even less. It turns out, however, that sleep is much more important than those people realize.
It is probably not news to most people that without enough sleep humans cannot properly function. It may behoove you, though, to know that the amount of sleep you get can also affect your chances of living longer. Sleep deprivation, as described by Web MD, can have some serious side effects including high blood pressure, heart attacks, heart failure, stroke, obesity, psychiatric problems including depression and other mood disorders, ADD, mental impairment, fetal and childhood growth retardation, injury from accidents, disruption of bed partners sleep quality, and poor quality of life.
Sleep loss is also a major contributing factor to obesity. According to the Washington Post “the nation’s obesity epidemic is being driven, at least in part, by a corresponding decrease in the average number of hours that Americans are sleeping, possibly by disrupting hormones that regulate appetite. The analysis of a nationally representative sample of nearly 10,000 adults found that those between the ages of 32 and 49 who sleep less than seven hours a night are significantly more likely to be obese.”
There is no “magic number” when it comes to the amount of sleep needed. Sleep requirements vary from person to person. However, tons of research out there suggests that anything less than six hours per night can be detrimental to health and that most people need at least 7-8 hours. For an even more specific breakdown check out http://www.sleepfoundation.org/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need.
So if your recovery is suffering or you are having trouble shedding that last bit of extra body fat even though you are Paleo’d out up to your eyeballs, sleep deprivation just might be the culprit. In the meantime, it’s nice to know that I’m not so lazy after all. I’m just a gal trying to recover properly for my next CrossFit WOD.
10 Thrusters (135/95)
1 Rope climb
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