Did you know that, on average, teenagers need 9.25 hours of sleep every night to function at their highest level?
Only 15% get 8.5 hours, while the rest are way under that. (And I have yet to meet a dancer in high school who sleeps more than 7 hours a night…)
Sleep impacts metabolism
A recent study from the University of Chicago shows that proper sleep may have a positive effect on glucose and insulin levels, namely it helps maintain cells’ sensitivity to insulin. Conversely, the less sleep you get, the less sensitive your cells are to insulin. Because insulin regulates how the body processes sugars and stores fat, it’s important that we not lose that sensitivity through lack of sleep.
So, not getting enough sleep can actually hurt us metabolically. “People think they can function cognitively on little sleep, but our study proves they are not tolerating the metabolic consequences,” said Dr. Matthew Brady of the University of Chicago, author of the study.
Tips to get to bed earlier
So now you have yet another reason to get to bed earlier! Here are 2 tips for doing just that:
- Turn off your electronic devices early. Incoming texts, social media, and one more episode of your favorite TV show all keep the brain active and alert. It can take between 30 and 60 minutes for the brain to get into sleep mode after any of these activities.
- If you must use electronics before bed, try turning on the “night mode” in the display and brightness settings: this subtracts the blue light from the display, making it easier for your brain to calm down when it’s time to sleep.
- Do some deep breathing or a body-scan when you get into bed. Mindful breathing calms the heart rate and quiets the mind, both of which will prepare you for bed.
Check out these resources for more info: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2012/10/16/lack-of-sleep-linked-to-weight-gain/ https://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1379773