8's The Number For Slumber

For optimizing the regenerative benefits of sleep, 6 hours is too little and 9's too much. The magic number is 8. Scientists pegged this number by analyzing several different studies. Canadian researchers found that people who typically slept longer than 9 hours a day gained more weight than those who slept 7 or 8 hours. On the other hand, University of Chicago research found that just 2 nights of 4 hours or less sleep triggered cravings for starchy foods and the associated weight gain.

The Bigger Picture: Waistline considerations shouldn't be your only motivation for getting a good 8 hours of sack time. People who habitually sleep less risk cell damage from NF-kB protein, which plays a significant role in your body's response to inflammation. Since the vast majority of your recovery from training takes place at night, this is especially important advice for athletes and fitness devotees.
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