Long-term, insufficient sleep starts to look like something you really want to avoid. Studies have shown that long-term sleep deprivation can lead to high blood pressure, cardiovascular issues like heart failure and heart attack, depression, and even obesity.
What’s more? A 2010 study found that older adults who didn’t get enough sleep were more likely to die from any cause over the course of the study than adults who did get enough sleep. Not getting enough sleep can have a huge effect on your longevity, which is unfortunately not something that an extra cup of coffee in the morning can fix.
How Much Sleep Is Enough
This is a question of much contention, and the National Sleep Foundation says that not only do sleep needs change throughout our lives, but they change on a person-to-person basis. As a general gauge, though, the NSF cites a few studies that show that getting only 4-5 hours a night can have serious consequences, and so can getting more than 9 hours of sleep a night.
So, to find your own “perfect number”, see what amount of sleep makes you feel best. If you’re struggling with getting enough sleep, there are a number of suggestions from researchers at Harvard Medical School regarding better sleep habits, ranging from avoiding caffeine to creating a bedtime routine to turning your alarm clock away from you so you aren’t watching the minutes tick by.
Healthy sleep is one of the most important parts of taking good care of your body, and ensuring that you have the best chance at a long, functional, happy life. If you want to live longer, make getting enough sleep a priority in all of your fitness routines.