You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again: adults need to sleep an average of seven to nine hours per night. Why? Catching sufficient Z’s is healthy for many reasons—some of which may surprise you. Here, we explain why hitting the sack for too few hours can affect your health.
While most people know the consequences of a late-night Netflix binge (“just one more episode, I promise!”), they may not know that research has found a link between fewer hours of sleep and obesity, type 2 diabetes, depression, and even cardiovascular disease. (Although it’s not always clear which came first—the condition or the lack of sleep—or if an unrelated factor is responsible for both.)
And that’s not all. Skimping on shuteye can also mess with all kinds of important functions, including your body’s hunger signals, memory, immune function, and decision-making abilities. That may explain why you might choose mismatched socks the morning after you stayed up late prepping for a work presentation.
And could going to bed early on Friday score you a date on Saturday? Maybe yes. That is, some evidence suggests that those who get sufficient sleep actually look healthier and more attractive to others. Beauty sleep, indeed.
In this video, we show you five surprising ways sleep deprivation can harm your mind and body. If you need more help falling asleep, check out our guide to the 30 sleep hacks for your most restful night ever. Sweet dreams!