The less you sleep you get the more ghrelin (an appetite-amped chemical) your body makes and the lower your output of leptin (a hormone that helps let your body know when you are full). When you have these two body chemicals “malfunctioning” adding in your lack of sleep you have a recipe for overeating and bad food choices. You tend to go for the fatty, salty, carb filled foods-so those doughnuts in the morning staff meeting are nearly impossible to pass over!
Also, plenty of us get up with the chickens to get in that early morning workout, but if you aren’t hitting the hay early enough the night before, your weight loss efforts just may be in vain. A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that sleep deprived people that are doing a low calorie diets lost 55% less body fat than their well rested counterparts. What these sleepy folks did lose, was lean muscle mass.
So it is very important for SO many reasons to get enough sleep. A lot of us focus on making sure that our children are in bed early enough to get well rested for the next day, but don’t remember to set a bedtime for ourselves. I know its hard to do, especially when you have laundry, housework, homework or just “me time” to attend to, but getting enough sleep will help you out in all of those areas too! There is no magic number for everyone when it comes to how much sleep you need, but once you start logging in some extra zzzz’s you’ll notice a difference in your day to day activities and find making those healthy food choices become easier and you have more energy to go for that walk at lunch or after the kids get home from school.