Women who get less than five hours of sleep per night may be doing more harm to themselves than feeling foggy and not being able to concentrate during the work day. We’ve all heard our mothers and grandmothers tell us how important it is to get enough sleep -- and now their comments are being backed up by research.
According to the Louisiana State University (LSU) Age Center, lack of sleep can have incredibly negative effects on the female body, which may lead to potentially serious health problems. Getting too little sleep can boost your appetite and accelerate the aging process. The chronic release of stress hormones caused by lack of sleep can also affect your immune system and make you more susceptible to infections and colds. A chronic lack of sleep could place you at risk for developing several of the diseases associated with poor eating habits and physical inactivity.
According to information posted on the LSU Age Center website, a 16-year sleep study was conducted using 68,183 middle-aged women. The results reported that “women who slept five hours or fewer each night were 32 percent more likely to gain a significant amount of weight, in some cases, as much as 33 pounds, and 15 percent more likely to become obese, compared to women who slept seven hours a night.”
Just how much sleep should women be getting each night? The National Sleep Foundation says there’s really no magic number for sleep needs but several studies suggest that healthy adults should get at least seven to eight hours of sleep each 24-hour cycle.
So in the quest to be “superwomen,” consider whether or not you’re getting enough sleep. It could really make a difference in your life!