Waist to Hip Ratio Calculator estimates the dimensionless ratio of the circumference of the waist to that of the hips. Scroll down if you wonder what conclusion you might draw from your waist-hip ratio or how to measure waist and hips properly!
Why is waist-hip ratio important?
The waist-hip ratio is, generally speaking, an indicator or measure of health, and the risk of developing serious health conditions, such as diabetes, asthma, or Alzheimer's disease. Research shows that people with "apple-shaped" bodies (with more weight around the waist) face more health risks than those with "pear-shaped" bodies who carry more weight around the hips. Waist-hip ratio is used as a measurement of obesity. The WHO states that abdominal obesity is defined as a waist–hip ratio above 0.90 for males and above 0.85 for females or a BMI above 30.
Another way of measuring obesity is absolute waist circumference above 40 in (102 cm) in men and above 35 in (88 cm) in women.
How to measure waist and hips?
It's more complicated than you might think. We suggest these two options:
• According to the WHO's data gathering protocol, the waist circumference should be measured at the midpoint between the last palpable rib and the top of the iliac crest, using a stretch‐resistant tape. Hip circumference should be measured around the widest portion of the buttocks, with the tape parallel to the floor.
• Practically, the measurements are usually taken at the smallest circumference of the natural waist, usually just above the belly button, and the widest part of the buttocks or hip.
What does waist to hip ratio calculator do?
The waist-hip ratio is calculated as waist measurement divided by hip measurement W ÷ H. For example, a person with a 28 in (71 cm) waist and 35 in (89 cm) hips has a waist–hip ratio of 0.8.
Our waist to height ratio calculator estimates your waist-height ratio, which is a simple, yet effective indicator of centralized obesity and associated cardiometabolic risk. Read on to find tips on how to measure waist.
Why is waist-height ratio important?
The waist to height ratio is a measure of the distribution of body fat. Higher values of waist-height ratio indicate a higher risk of obesity-related cardiovascular diseases since it is correlated with abdominal obesity. Studies have found that waist-height ratio is a good indicator of the risk of heart attack, stroke or death, yet it hasn't been proved to measure the risk of diabetes. Other indicators of abdominal obesity are BMIand waist-to-hip ratio. Based on the waist to height ratio, you can allocate yourself to one of these groups:
• Extremely slim - <0.34 both for men and women
• Healthy - 0.43 to 0.52 for men and 0.42 to 0.48 for women
• Overweight - 0.53 to 0.57 for men and 0.49 to 0.53 for women
• Very overweight - 0.58 to 0.62 for men and 0.54 to 0.57 for women
• Morbidly obese - >0.63 for men and >0.58 for women
How to measure your waist?
According to the WHO's data gathering protocol, the waist circumference should be measured at the midpoint between the last palpable rib and the top of the iliac crest, using a stretch‐resistant tape.
Practically, the measurements are usually taken at the smallest circumference of the natural waist, usually just above the belly button.
What does waist to hip ratio calculator do?
The waist-height ratio is calculated as waist measurement divided by height measurement W ÷ H. For example, a person with a 28 in (71 cm) waist and 5 ft 7 in (170 cm) height has a waist–height ratio of 0.42.
The calorie calculator, also called the TDEE calculator, can help you in determining how many calories should you eat a day - and how many to cut if you want to lose weight. In this article, you will find what formulas does our calorie counter use, but also what kinds of food to eat to cut down your weight in a responsible way.
How many calories should I eat a day?
The recommended calorie intake, called TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure), depends on many factors. Some of them are easy to find out: your age, height, weight, and sex. Some, like the level of your physical activity, are more qualitative than quantitative, but it's possible to measure and classify them. Other ones, like your metabolism or overall health, are very difficult to estimate. That's why, even though our calorie calculator takes into account most factors that influence the number of calories you need every day, it may not give results that are 100% accurate. Consider it more of a guideline than a rigorous directive.
For example, a 40-year-old man who has a physical job (equivalent to exercising six days a week), is an average American in height (5 ft 9 in) and weight (194.7 lbs) should take in 3032 calories a day. On the other hand, his daughter, an average 16-year-old girl (5 ft 4 in, 117 lbs) who exercises once a week only, needs 1697 calories a day - almost a thousand calories less than her father.
What are calories, exactly?
Calories are measures of energy. 1 calorie is equivalent to 4.18 joules. In nutrition, we actually deal with kilocalories (kcal), where 1 kcal is equal to a thousand of the "small" calories. As you could expect, 1 kcal = 4.18 kJ. (This article uses the term "calories" to describe kilocalories, like probably every other healthy diet article on the Internet).
How our food calorie calculator works
The calorie calculator bases on the Mifflin - St Jeor equation. It allows you to find your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) - the amount of energy needed for your body to support basic vital functions only. It is different for men and women:
BMR(men) = (10 * weight / 1kg + 6.25 * height / 1cm - 5 * age / 1 year + 5)
kcal / day
BMR(women) = (10 * weight / 1kg + 6.25 * height / 1cm - 5 * age / 1 year - 161)
kcal / day
After you calculate the BMR, you need to multiply it by a factor corresponding to your physical activity level:
• Sedentary lifestyle (little or no exercise): 1.2
• Slightly active lifestyle (light exercise or sports 1-2 days/week): 1.3
• Moderately active lifestyle (moderate exercise or sports 2-3 days/week): 1.4
• Very active lifestyle (hard exercise or sports 4-5 days/week):1.5
• Extra active lifestyle (very hard exercise, physical job or sports 6-7 days/week): 1.7
If you're not sure which activity level to choose, always go for a lower number.
That's because most people overestimate how much they exercise, and if you want to lose weight, it's safer to assume that you are not as active as you'd expect yourself to be.
The result will be your TDEE - Total Daily Energy Expenditure. It is the daily calorie intake recommended for maintaining your current weight.
Calorie counter, TDEE, and losing weight
There are about 3500 calories stored in each pound of body fat (of course, this is an average amount). If you want to lose a pound a week, it is easy to calculate that you need to cut 500 calories from your daily demand. Similarly, if you're going to gain weight, taking in additional 500 calories a day will help you gain one pound a week. Remember that you can create this deficit either by eating less or increasing the TDEE by exercising.
You should never cut more than 1000 calories a day from your diet. As a rule of thumb, you should never go below 1200 calories a day if you're a woman and 1800 if you're a man. Additionally, it's a good idea to divide the food calories between all meals in a healthy way. Our meal Calorie counter will surely be of help! Before you start a rigorous diet, better make sure whether you're really overweight. Our BMI calculator can be of use to you.
What to eat to lose weight
Calories are not the only thing we get from food. Eating 1000 calories equivalent of popcorn is definitely not the same as eating 1000 calories from vegetables and fruit. We also need a proper amount of macronutrients and micronutrients - such as carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals and others. If you want to lose weight, you need to double-check whether you won't deprive your organism of important substances by cutting down your calorie intake, which in turn will slow down your metabolism.
Eating healthy requires a little bit of an effort, doesn't it? If you have ever counted calories in your meals, you know how frustrating this task can be. Luckily, our meal calorie calculator is here to help. Thanks to this tool, you will know exactly how many calories per meal you should eat if you want to maintain your current weight.
Number of meals per day
The number of meals per day varies from person to person. Generally, you should avoid eating less than three meals per day, as it is considered unhealthy by most dietitians.
The optimal number of meals per day is
How many calories per meal should I eat?
The answer to this question depends on multiple factors. First of all, you need to know what is your recommended calorie intake per day. This value, in turn, changes with your:
Once you know the recommended daily calorie intake, you can divide it into meals. This meal
calorie calculator suggests a split between three, four, or five meals.
If you eat
• 30-35% of daily calories for breakfast
• 35-40% of daily calories for lunch
• 25-35% of daily calories for dinner
If you eat
• 25-30% of daily calories for breakfast
• 5-10% of daily calories for morning snack
• 35-40% of daily calories for lunch
• 25-30% of daily calories for dinner
If you eat
• 25-30% of daily calories for breakfast
• 5-10% of daily calories for morning snack
• 35-40% of daily calories for lunch
• 5-10% of daily calories for afternoon snack
• 15-20% of daily calories for dinner
Of course, these numbers are just guidelines - you don't need to stick to them religiously. Depending on your metabolism, nutrition habits and daily routine, you might discover that you need to adjust them. Still, this meal calorie calculator can serve as a good rule of thumb of how many calories per day you should eat. When in doubt, consult a dietitian or physician for a personalized diet plan. Additionally, remember that the meals should be distributed more or less equally in time. A typical breakfast should be eaten one hour after waking up, and dinner 2-3 hours before going to sleep. If your eating patterns are different, make sure to adjust the calorie intake accordingly. Now that you know how many calories per meal are good for your health, you might decide to take your exercising habits to the next level! Head straight to the calories burned calculator for some extra motivation :)
This protein calculator is an excellent tool for everyone who is interested in a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet. With its help, you'll be able to calculate the optimal protein intake for your weight and activity level. Naturally, you cannot maintain healthy eating habits on protein alone.
What are proteins?
Proteins, just like carbohydrates and fats, are macronutrients - substances used by our organisms to produce energy and sustain basic bodily functions. Proteins are essential to our existence; not only do they build our muscles, but also regulate our hormones and metabolism. Some of them are antibodies - without proteins, our immune system wouldn't work at all. If they are so important, where can you find them? Well, there are many different sources of protein. The most popular ones are animal foods, such as meat, fish, and dairy products. However, it is also possible to plan a vegetarian or even vegan diet with a sufficient amount of protein. Broccoli, beans, and nuts are some examples of non-animal sources. When on a vegan or vegetarian diet, it's best to consult a professional dietitian to make sure that you are consuming sufficient amounts of various macronutrients, including protein.
What is the optimal protein intake?
While many bodybuilders follow the "the more, the better" rule when planning their protein intake, the truth is that our organisms are not able to utilize a lot of protein at once. If you eat an enormous steak, only a fraction of it will be used. The rest will be converted into carbohydrates for energy.
There are many different approaches to estimating the daily allowance for proteins. Typically, we should keep the percentage of proteins in the total calorie intake at
Other recommendations, for example the one issued by the Food and Nutrition Council of the National Research Council, give you the maximum allowed amount of proteins in grams per kilogram of body mass. An adult should consume about
Proteins and weight loss
If you're trying to lose weight, it is essential that you keep your protein intake at the level recommended by this protein calculator. A decrease in protein consumption can have a detrimental effect on your health. The reason behind it is quite simple. When we reach a calorie deficit, our bodies don't automatically start burning the accumulated fat (even though we would wish for it). First, they use the available carbohydrates and protein. Only then do they turn to fat storage for energy. Accessing the fat storage is not easy, though - it requires some energy, which is usually obtained from breaking down carbohydrates. If these are not available, your organism will break down lean body tissues (yes, your muscles) for proteins that can be converted into carbs. What does it mean? It means that if you try a starvation diet, instead of losing fat, you will lose muscle mass. That's why it is recommended to eat small portions of protein a few times throughout the day - so that your organism will not have to turn to its own tissues as an energy source.
While the word "fats" instantly makes us think about junk food and bad eating habits, the truth is that fats are actually critical to our existence. This daily fat intake calculator will help you estimate how much fats you should consume every day to maintain a healthy, balanced diet.
Naturally, knowing how to calculate calories from fat doesn't necessarily mean that you are eating - and living - healthy.
What are fats?
Fats, just like carbohydrates and proteins, are macronutrients - elements of food required for proper functioning of our organisms. Their main role is to give us energy: 1 gram of fats is equivalent to 9 calories, what makes them invaluable when food is scarce. For comparison, both proteins and carbs contain only 4 calories per gram.
Apart from being an immediate source of energy, fats have a few more important functions.
They are an energy reserve - if you happen to supply fewer calories than your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure), your organism will break up fat tissue for additional calories. The fats also help to regulate the water content of cells and provide essential fatty acids.
Daily fat intake
Unfortunately, no golden rule dictates how much fats you should consume. Our daily fat intake calculator follows the most common guidelines, which say that your diet should consist of 20-35% fats. Naturally, this number is flexible; basing on your physical activity or health condition, you might find that a professional dietitian will recommend a different proportion in a personalized diet plan.
Even more important than the amount of fat, though, is the type of fats and oils (collectively known as lipids) that you consume.
There are three main groups of fats:
Still, we advise minimizing the consumption of some products with a substantial proportion of saturated fats. Such products include dairy fat (for example full-fat cheese), pizza, and palm oil.
Sources of these fats include avocados, olives, nuts and peanut oil.
How to calculate calories from fat?
You can use this daily fat intake calculator to easily convert grams of fat to calories. All you need to do is use the following formula:
1 g = 9 kcal
For example, if you want to determine the energy content of 13 grams of fats, you have to perform the following calculation:
13 g * 9 kcal / g = 117 kcal
13 grams of fats contain 117 calories.
The heart rate calculator finds the pulse you should aim for when performing an exercise of a certain intensity. Read on if you'd like to know how to calculate the heart rate for your physical activities. You might want to check out your heart rate zones for the optimal cardio exercise with our target heart rate calculator for your age.
How to calculate heart rate?
The formula used for the heart rate calculation looks like this:
HR = resting_HR + intensity% * (220 - resting_HR - age)
The values you need to input are:
• resting_HR - your heart rate at rest - it's best to measure it right after you wake up or after sitting or lying down in a relaxed state for a longer period;
• intensity% - the intensity of exercise you're aiming - read on to find out more about heart rate zones;
• age - your age in years.
What are heart rate zones?
When you start any physical activity, its intensity is soon reflected by your heart rate. The range from a moderate acceleration of your pulse to the maximum capacity is divided into heart rate zones. To put it simply, they are the levels of intensity of your exercise.
• 50 - 60% -
• 60 - 70% -
• 70 - 80% -
• 80 - 90% -
• 90 - 100% -
Depending on your goals, you can aim for different ranges of exercise intensity. Calculate the target heart rate and remember to stay hydrated :) Good luck!
This target heart rate calculator helps you decide how strenuous your workout should be. You probably often ask yourself whether your training has any effect at all, or whether it is not dangerous for your health. Now, you don't have to worry any more - you can calculate it quickly with this tool. We will also provide you with a step-by-step explanation of how to calculate the target heart rate (target HR) and with an easily applicable target heart rate formula.
What is the heart rate and target HR?
Imagine you are hiking in the mountains with your backpack. You feel that walking requires a tiny bit more effort than when you're strolling in the city, but it's not unpleasant. After a while, you start walking up a steep hill. Every step is difficult, you feel the sweat all over your face, and your heart begins to race. Once you've made it to the top, you breathe slowly and feel the exertion calming down. After a while, your heart slows down, too. What you experienced was a change in the heart rate. It was highest when you were climbing up (your heart was pounding) and lowest after a short rest. To put it simply, your heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute. Target heart rate (target HR) is the heart rate that makes the physical effort most effective. If it's too low, then the exercise won't bring the expected results such as making you more fit. If it's too high, it may be dangerous for you.
How to calculate the target heart rate?
1. Begin with measuring your heart rate at rest. It's best to check it in the morning, just after waking up, but before getting our of bed. Put your fingers over your pulse - the best places to measure it are the inside of your wrist, inside of your elbow or the side of your neck. Count the number of beats in 60 seconds. This is your resting heart rate - typically, it should be in between 60 and 100 bpm (beats per minute).
2. Once you've done that, calculate your maximum heart rate. It is typically found by subtracting your age from 220. This is an extreme you should never cross.
3. Subtract the resting heart rate from the maximum heart rate. The result will be your heart rate reserve. 4. Now that you know your heart rate reserve, you can begin to calculate the target heart rate range. It is typically assumed that you should exert yourself to 60% - 70% of your heart rate reserve for fat burning. Our calculator uses these values by default; leave them or modify them as you need.
5. The lower bound of the target heart rate range is calculated by adding the resting heart rate to the lower percentage of your heart rate reserve.
6. The upper bound of the target heart rate range is calculated by adding the resting heart rate to the higher percentage of your heart rate reserve.
Target heart rate formula
You can also put all of these steps into mathematical equations:
TargetHR = RestingHR + A * Reserve where:
Heart rate training
How much of your heart rate reserve should you use exactly? It depends on the type of training. Generally:
• Fat-burning range - 60% to 70%. This kind of training builds a basic foundation of endurance.
• Aerobic range - 70% to 80%. It helps to improve your cardiovascular system.
• Anaerobic range - 80% to 90%. When exercising in this range, you will switch on the lactic acid system.
• Red line range - 90% to 100%. This kind of training develops fast-twitch muscle, but can only be done for short periods.
If you're wondering how many calories did you burn while walking, dancing, playing football, or during any other physical activity, you should give this calories burned calculator a try. Basing on the activity type and duration, it estimates how many calories you burned and, consequently, how much weight you can expect to lose.
What are calories?
Calories are simply a measure of energy you take in with your food. 1 calorie is equivalent to 4.18 joules. In nutrition, we actually deal with kilocalories (kcal), where 1 kcal is equal to a thousand "small" calories. As you could expect, 1 kcal = 4.18 kJ. (In this article, we use the term "calories" to describe kilocalories, what is quite a common practice.) There are approximately 7700 calories stored in every kilogram of body fat. It means that losing 1 kg of body weight is equivalent to burning about 7700 calories.
How to calculate calories burned?
As you could expect, every activity needs a different energy expense. Walking at a relaxed pace will surely burn fewer calories than running or aerobics. This energy expenditure is typically expressed in MET - the Metabolic Equivalent of a Task. This measure tells you how many calories you burn per hour of activity and per one kilogram of body weight. You can easily choose one of numerous activity types in our calories burned calculator. For example, walking has a MET value of 3.8, while hiking already 6. The higher this value is, the more energy the task demands. What exactly is 1 MET, then? It is defined as the ratio of energy spent per unit time during a specific physical activity to a reference value of 3.5 ml O₂/(kg•min). After some recalculation and converting milliliters of oxygen to calories, we arrive at the final formula: calories = T * 60 * MET * 3.5 * W / 200 where T is the duration of activity in hours, and W is your weight in kilograms. Our calorie burn calculator uses the formula above for the most accurate estimation of calories burned. If you want to run your calculations by hand, you can also use a simplified version of this equation: calories = MET * T * W This equation is based on the approximation saying that 1 MET = 1 kcal / (kg * h). It is not 100% correct; still, it provides a good enough result that can be used to estimate the calorie loss. One kilogram of body fat contains about 7700 calories. It means that once you've found the number of burned calories, all you have to do is divide it by 7700 to obtain the weight loss in kilograms.
How many calories did I burn while biking?
If you want to calculate the weight loss or calorie loss after a certain physical activity, make sure to follow the steps below.
1. Choose your activity and determine its MET value. For example, for biking MET = 8.
2. Input your weight into the calories burned calculator. Let's assume you weigh 85 kg.
3. Determine the duration of the activity. Let's say you went for a whole day trip and were biking for 7 hours straight.
4. Input all of these values into the calorie burn formula:
calories = T * 60 * MET * 3.5 * W / 200
calories = 7 * 60 * 8 * 3.5 * 85 / 200 = 4998 kcal
5. Finally, divide this value by 7700 to obtain your weight loss:
4988/7700 = 0.65 kg
Congratulations! Your bike trip just helped you lose 0.65 kg. Now, it's about time to head to the BMI calculator and check whether you're maintaining a healthy body weight.
This body fat calculator is a tool designed to help you estimate the percentage of body fat in your total body weight. If you ever wondered what is your body fat percentage, this is a perfect place to find out. We will explain to you in detail not only what is the importance of this information, but also how to calculate the body fat (including some alternative methods for measuring it) and give you some general guidelines regarding reducing your body fat.
What is body fat?
It is actually adipose tissue; its main function is to store energy in the form of lipids, but it cushions and insulates your body, too. Your body stores two types of fat: essential and storage body fat. The former is necessary to support life and reproductive functions. Essential body fat is substantially higher for women because of childbearing and hormonal functions. Storage body fat is the mass of additional accumulated fat. It does not mean that this type of body fat is unnecessary, though - part of it protects your abdomen and internal organs.
How to calculate body fat
You can estimate your body fat with our body fat percentage calculator. Remember that no calculator, however complicated, can replace a visit in a doctor's office. You should treat this result as a rough estimate; it can only tell you if your body fat percentage is drastically too high, but there's no reason to panic if the result differs just slightly from the recommended value.
To calculate the body fat percentage, you need to take the following measurements:
• Weight: simply weigh yourself. You will get the most accurate result weighing yourself in the morning, before breakfast, and without clothes on.
• Waist: your waist is the narrowest part of your torso. The measuring tape you bring around your waist should sit tightly, but it shouldn't "dig" into your skin. Don't pull your stomach in, either.
• Forearm: the forearm circumference is only needed to calculate the body fat of women. Put your tape around the thickest part of your forearm (close to your elbow).
• Wrist: wrap a measuring tape around your wrist in the fullest part. Again, this measurement is not required for men.
• Hip: you measure your hips it the widest point below your waist. Remember to remove your clothing and to keep your feet together so that the measurement is as accurate as possible. Men don't need this measurement either for calculating the body fat percentage. Once you have taken all of the measurements, you can input them all into the body fat calculator. If you are interested how it works, there are the formulas we use:
lean body mass (men) = (weight * 1.082) + 94.42 - Waist * 4.15
lean body mass (women) = (weight * 0.732) + 8.987 + wrist / 3.140 - waist * 0.157 - hip * 0.249 + forearm * 0.434
body fat weight = weight - lean body mass
body fat percentage (BFP) = body fat weight / weight
Both equations for lean body mass use weight in pounds and all other measurements in inches. If you are using other units, you need to transform the formulas accordingly.
Is my body fat percentage normal?
Once you calculated your body fat percentage, you should compare it with the recommended values. The list below comes from the American Council on Exercise and shows the average percentages in specified groups.
Why should I control my body fat?
You need some body fat to regulate the production of hormones. An excessive percentage of body fat, however, can cause multiple health problems, such as:
• Heart diseases: obesity and high levels of body fat can lead to high blood pressure and high levels of bad cholesterol, which are also risk factors for heart diseases. In extreme cases, they can lead to strokes, the third leading cause of death in the United States.
• Male hormones problems: high body fat level in a woman's body can lead to an excessive production of male hormones, causing facial hair growth and acne.
• Diabetes: high body fat can lead to type 2 diabetes. There's a strong correlation between diabetes and being overweight; people most at risk for developing type 2 diabetes are those who have a high BMI and a high body fat percentage.
Alternative methods of measuring body fat
If you type "how to calculate body fat" into your search engine, you will discover that there are multiple methods for measuring the body fat percentage. In fact, there are even multiple different formulas used in various calculators. The list below gives you some alternative methods.
• Underwater weighing: fat cells in humans have a density of 0.9 kilograms per liter. The lean body mass has a higher density - 1.1 kg per liter. Knowing this difference, it is possible to determine the density of the whole body by submerging it in water. After making some corrections for air in lungs, you can calculate the percentage of body fat with only a small uncertainty.
• Skinfold method: it is a method, in which you pinch your skin in several standarized places with calipers and measure the thickness of the fat layer. It requires from three to seven measurements. The drawback of this method is that it only measures the adipose tissue layer directly below the skin, and doesn't take into account any internal body fat.
• From BMI: there are some formulas that allow for calculating body fat percentage directly from the BMI. They are not really accurate, though, as the amount of body fat for two people with the same BMI might be completely different. • Ultrasound: it can be used to measure tissue structure and hence the amount of adipose tissue directly below the skin. • DEXA scan: it can be used to measure bone density and also calculator body fat measurements.
How to use the sleep calculator?
Our sleep consists of 90-minutes-long cycles. You'll wake up feeling better if you wake up at the end of a cycle, rather than in the middle of it. Use the calculator to find out when to go to bed if you want to sleep at that point, not sooner or later.
What are ‘sleep cycles’ and ‘stages of sleep’?
While sleeping, our brains go through few sleep cycles. An average person needs 5-6 cycles to feel fully regenerated in the morning. One sleep cycle lasts around 90-110 minutes and consists of 5 stages: first four stages are non-REM stages, where the stage 1 and 2 are known as ‘light sleep stages,’ stage 3 and 4 as ‘deep sleep stages,' and the last one is REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Duration of each stage oscillates between 5 and 15 minutes. Early in the night, stages of deep sleep are longer than REM, which reverses as the time passes. People's’ brains usually don’t go from stages 1 to 5, but rather: stages of light sleep, stages of deep sleep, REM, and then again stages of deep sleep and stages of light sleep. Light sleep stages are the time when people can experience muscle contractions and can easily wake up. Your body is preparing slowly for deep sleep, with your brain waves becoming slower. Deep sleep stages are also known as delta sleep or slow wave sleep. It’s very hard to wake someone up at that time. It’s also the most important sleep of all stages because it gives you the most refreshment and reduces your need for sleep. That’s why when you nap too long in the day, and you enter the deep sleep, you don’t feel sleepy as the night progresses. Also during that stage, your body and muscles are being restored by growth hormone. REM (rapid eye movement) stage is when the dreams happen. Your brain imitates waves just like if you were awakened, with your eyes moving rapidly but still closed.
Why is good night’s sleep so important?
While sleeping, our bodies are regenerating. That’s why the quality of sleep is very important. Waking up at the end of a sleep cycle makes you feel refreshed, happier and basically ready to face the day. The benefits of a good night’s sleep are also: better skin, no dark circles under eyes, smaller chances for eating disorders, healthier life routine, and great mood!
Who isn’t guilty of going sleep too late because of ‘binge-scrolling’ FB or Twitter? Apart from social media addiction, we often eat late, drink alcohol or just stare at the TV without realizing it all leads to sleep deprivation that can cause, e.g., insomnia, premature skin aging, decreased sex drive and concentration problems. It is said that stress and irregular sleeping patterns can also lead to having more nightmares as well as weight gaining. Not to mention being grumpy, miserable and easily irritable that can seriously affect your relationships with other people.
How to improve your sleeping habits?
A person who sleeps only for full 4 cycles (90 minutes each) feels better after waking up than someone who slept for 7 hours because they woke up before the end of the last cycle.
Set up alarms
Yes, alarms. Setting up, both, for the time you should go sleep and wake up can help in getting into the new, healthier routine. Plus, it’s a friendly reminder for people who tend to ‘get lost’ on the Internet. Endless meme scrolling is fun, but it’ll affect your day.
Stop using snooze button
Although so popular ‘just 5 minutes more’ may feel great at first, in the long run snoozing results in feeling tired in the morning, because these 5 or 10 minutes are not enough for your body to fall into the precious deep sleep. Believe us, it’s worth getting up with your first alarm.
No phone or computer policy
It’s also worth to stop playing with your phone or computer at least 2h before getting to bed, as the blue light that their screens emit affects levels of melatonin (a sleep-inducing hormone) and as a result – falling asleep takes longer. Say goodbye to FB, TV, and e-books and enjoy a good night’s sleep!
No alcohol before sleep
We all know that falling asleep after drinking is faster than while being sober, but is it healthy? Bad news here – it deprives the quality of your sleep, and in fact, you sleep less than you should to fully regenerate.
Napping is great!
Remember the time at a kindergarten when you hated after-lunch napping? As soon as you start staying up late, you realize how much you miss those obligatory naps. If you ever feel exhausted during the day, try to include a healthy 15-20 min nap in your routine. It is proven to be way more refreshing than a full 90 min sleep cycle in the middle of the day.
How much sleep do I really need?
It all depends on a person and age, as some of us feel great after only 6h of sleep every night. However, according to the National Sleep Foundation, people need more than those 6 hours:
• Newborn to 3 months old - 14 - 17 hrs
• 4 to 11 months old - 12 - 15 hrs
• 1 to 2 years old - 11 - 14 hrs
• 3 to 5 years old - 10 - 13 hrs
• 6 to 13 years old - 9 - 11 hrs
• 14 to 17 years old - 8 - 10 hrs • Young adults (18 to 25 years old) - 7 - 9 hrs
• Adults (26 to 64 years old) - 7 - 9 hrs
• Older adults (65+) - 7 - 8 hrs