(WJBK) - What is the exact amount of sleep you should be getting?
It's actually 7 hours and 15 minutes. The question is, though, is anyone actually getting close to that amount?
Let's face it. Blame work, kids, stress, electronics, but one thing most have in common is our lack of sleep.
"In our culture we're sleeping 6, 5, 4, hours. You can't do it," says Henry Ford Health System Dr. Kathleen Yaremchuk.
But why? What's the downside of sleep deprivation?
"The body thinks you're under stress; you're at war. So it stops burning calories; it starts sending out all kinds of mediators that say, 'This person must be in a very bad, stressful situation because we're not sleeping,' and so it does damage over a long term," explains Dr. Yaremchuk. "You kind of think it's counterintuitive. If you're up, moving around, that should be a good thing; you should be burning calories. But, once again, the body says we have to conserve energy; we aren't sleeping; we aren't doing the things we need to do -- so you actually stop burning calories.
And nobody wants to stop burning calories.
Beyond our body weight, not getting enough shut eye affects most aspects of our lives.
"It's a whole quality of life issue," says Dr. Yaremchuk. "If you get insufficient sleep, we all know we're crabby, we don't respond well. And there's cognition; we don't think as well. Vigilance, you're more likely to hit that car in front of you; you're more likely not to move at the red light because you're just not paying attention."
To sleep better, she suggests not doing anything right before bed that triggers emotions or thought. Create a nice calming bedtime routine.
Also make sure your room is dark and cool.
Also remember, we have a 90-minute sleep cycle, which means we'll wake up every 90 minutes. The key is not to look at your phone or your clock because that will trigger your mind, and you'll have trouble falling back asleep.