This is a big one. Odds are that you don’t sleep enough. How do I know? Well, more than 50% of people don’t have good sleep. Whether it’s waking up during the night or not being able to shut off their mind before going to sleep.

There are so many reasons people can’t sleep, but most of them can be solved in no time. Unfortunately, sleep is as essential as air and water for us. If we stop sleeping at some point we will die.

Although researchers still don’t understand everything about sleep, we already know quite a lot. We know that there are different sleep phases and the have different functions.

Another thing we know is that during sleep, the brains get rid of waste products, that accumulated during the day. It’s essential that we get rid of those because otherwise our mental abilities will decline and we won’t feel good.

Official recommendations range from 7 to 9 hours of sleep, per night. And no, those are not exaggerated. Odds are that you know at least one person who claims he can get away with 4 hours of less sleep per night and everybody who needs more is a sucker.

I know these people, but I don’t believe them. There certainly are people that need less sleep, but they are the rare exceptions. Lucky ones.

Did you know that LeBron James sleeps around 12 hours per night? Pretty much for a top NBA player, don’t you think? Maybe he became a top NBA player not despite his long bed hours but rather because of them.

Maybe what I’m saying because clearer after I mention this study. Researchers divided participants into 3 groups. CHECK AGAIN.

The first group slept 4, the second 6 and the third 8 hours. Forget about the first group.

The second group probably represents that average human, with around 6 hours of sleep. After two weeks, their mental abilities dropped the same amount as if they were pulling two all-nighters in a row. That’s crazy, right?

But you know what’s even more crazy? They didn’t even realize this! They still thought their performance was top-notch.

Unfortunately, sleep is responsible for much more than your productivity or your mental abilities. Sleep also affects your health very much, for the positive, if you get enough sleep or for the negative if you don’t get enough of it!

Too little sleep probably contributes to the obesity epidemic we’re facing right now. Not getting enough sleep affects the balance of your hormones, ghrelin and leptin, that regulate your hunger, in a negative way.

Knowledge-base: Ghrelin and leptin are two hormones in your body. While leptin is produced by fat cells and decreases your hunger, ghrelin is the counterpart and increases your appetite. Studies found out that people, especially those who are obese, can develop a resistance against leptin. So while their leptin levels are higher, their hunger doesn’t go down.

Several studies found out, that participants who didn’t get enough sleep showed higher levels of ghrelin and decreased levels of leptin. If you ever had a rough night and found yourself eating the following day, now you know a reason for that.

Besides that, too little sleep is also connected to a decrease in willpower, that’s why people who don’t get enough sleep can’t stay away from junk food or fall into other “bad” behaviors.

Getting enough sleep is essential for many more parts of your life, so you really should make a priority. Although it seems counterintuitive, but sleep more and better, will actually result in you getting more done! Find out your individual sleep need and make sure you reach it every day.

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