So by now you know that regular exercise and a healthy, balanced diet are essential to achieve your fitness and weight loss goals. But did you know that adequate amount of sleep can also affect your goals? Well it is…. sleep is probably the most overlooked component of health and fitness. 

Sleep has a key role in supporting a wide array of the body’s hormones and metabolism. Chronic sleep depravation is often a factor in obesity. This is caused by several factors. First of all, people that sleep less tend to eat more because they have more time to eat and also tired individuals tend to eat more to combat exhaustion. Secondly, research indicates that sleep affects two important hormones that are related to appetite. Those hormones are ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin, which increases appetite, is higher with lack of sleep and leptin, which decreases hunger is lower with lack of sleep. That combination causes an individual to be more likely to overeat. 

Research shows that everyone needs between six and nine hours of sleep every day. Several studies show that even a short period of sleep deprivation affects our memory, reaction time, and our ability to handle stress. 

So do yourself a favor and sleep a little more!