The “rule of thumb” for adults is 7 to 9 hours according to The National Sleep Foundation.
Sleep plays a major role in how the body recovers. We all need to recover both physically and mentally. While you sleep your body is being rejuvenated for the next day.
There is research out there that shows that people who don’t get enough sleep have bigger appetites due to the fact that their leptin levels have fallen. You’re probably thinking, “What is leptin?” To keep it simple, it’s an appetite regulating hormone. If you don’t get enough sleep your leptin levels decrease and that increases your appetite. The studies suggests that when we deprive ourselves of sleep, we tend to overeat.
You can read up on this further at the National Sleep Foundation, research by Dr. Van Cauter.
Those are some of the reasons why sleep is just as important as your nutrition and exercise plan.