If You Sleep Less Than 7 Hours a Night, New Science Says You Might Need a Few Simple Things to Stay Healthy

A number of studies have suggested that at least seven hours of sleep is ideal for your health, but we can also dig a little deeper into that research for some potential life hacks to help those that are sleepless by choice, or not.

In a study led and funded, it should be noted, by vitamin and supplement maker Pharmavite, scientists found people who get less than seven hours slumber on average also get less of vitamins A, D, and B1, as well as magnesium, niacin, calcium, zinc and phosphorus.

“Whether chronic short sleep causes nutrient insufficiency or the nutrient insufficiency causes short sleep still needs to be determined,” said lead researcher Chioma Ikonte. “A clinical study that investigates (impacts of) supplementation with these nutrients on sleep outcomes is needed to demonstrate cause and effect.”

The research used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and also found that taking dietary supplements might be helpful for the under-rested.

“This work adds to the body of growing evidence associating specific nutrient intakes with sleep outcomes,” said Ikonte. “Our findings suggest that individuals with short sleep duration might benefit from improving their intake of these nutrients through diet and supplementation.”

Other studies have suggested that a lack of sleep may make us crave high-fat and other less healthy foods. It could be that drowsy-eating all that junk food is coming at the expense of more healthy meals containing the vitamins and minerals our bodies need. 

The science here is definitely not conclusive yet, but there may be little harm in being more mindful of your diet when you’ve had less sleep or popping some vitamins during the day. 

Published on: Jun 12, 2019

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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