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How much do you need to sleep to feel fit

7 to 9 hours of sleep are needed to rest body and mind, fix memory, make the appetite cycle and all other bodily functions work properly

There is the myth that we can work with 5-6 hours of sleep effectively but science has proven otherwise for years. In adults, the hours of sleep needed to rest the body and mind - fix memory, make the appetite cycle and all other bodily functions work properly - range from 7 to 9.

A number that for many is unattainable due to work and family commitments and bad habits related to the use of cell phones and computers that interfere with the sleep-wake cycle making us insomniac.

The tables drawn up by the United States Department of Health are clear: for newborns it goes from 16-18 hours a day, for preschoolers 11-12 and up to 10 years it takes at least 10 hours a day.

In adolescents it remains around 9-10 hours to drop to 7-8 in adults and the elderly. For the American National Sleep Foundation for adults the hours can be up to 9.

All over the world, insomniacs are an ever-increasing army of people who cannot have a sufficiently active life. Those who do not sleep have concentration and relationship problems, as explained by the director of the sleep medicine center of the Salvatore Maugeri Foundation in Pavia and vice president of Aims, the Italian association for sleep medicine: "The diagnosis of insomnia occurs when the patient presents difficulty falling asleep or maintaining sleep (presence of frequent and prolonged awakenings or early awakening) even in the presence of optimal sleep conditions. During the day he is fatigued, suffers from a fall in mood or restlessness, difficulty concentrating or memory deficit, a decline in social, family, work or academic performance, has behavioral disorders such as aggression, presentism, impulsivity, greater propensity for errors and accidents. If you don't sleep well at least three nights a week, you need to go to a specialist ». Presentism is when one goes to work even when sick, a behavior that is often associated with work environments in which to work a lot regardless of results is considered normal.

Making up for hours lost during the weekend is also not the right solution. The "sleep debt" to be recovered if we sleep 5 hours a night for 5 days a week will be 10 hours and forces us to sleep long hours on Saturday and Sunday mornings by busting our internal clock that regulates the sleep cycle - wakefulness and this will inevitably prevent us from falling asleep on Sunday evening.

"Sleeping more than necessary involves hormonal changes that are difficult to restore during the day and risks becoming counterproductive to sleep itself, leading to insomnia problems the next night".

When you sleep well it is proven that you get sick less. During the night, the body produces cytokines, proteins that help the immune system fight infections. Many studies correlate the type 2 diabetes epidemic with poor sleep, due to the low production of leptin during the night, responsible for the decrease in appetite. Naps may dab the solution but they are not the solution. For a good night's sleep, “one of the main rules is to limit exposure to light - cell phones, computers and TVs - in the evening. If you can't do without it, you need to choose devices that allow you to adjust the brightness by setting the night function - continues the doctor - Better to avoid using them in bed and choose a small and very short ritual to help you sleep, such as drinking a cup of warm milk and honey. In addition, earplugs can be an excellent remedy if the bedroom is noisy or for the presence of a snoring partner.

We do not recommend hot baths and showers before bed for those suffering from blood circulation problems, low blood pressure, and restless legs syndrome, a widespread disorder that implies the irrepressible need to move their legs. " However, if you continue to suffer from insomnia, you must go to a psychologist for a cognitive-behavioral therapy, the one that gives the best results Fanfulla recommends.

But there is also a cultural battle to be fought as Arianna Huffinfton, entrepreneur and author of the bestseller "Sleep revolution", written after collapsing for working too hard, argues. The one that goes against the corporate culture of "presentism" and of working long hours. Sleep deprivation is «like the habit of smoking - he said - it took society a while to align itself with the results of science and understand that smoking kills. Soon also employers will perceive the absence of hours of sleep as a damage instead of a star of merit ».

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