More and more of us out there aren't getting enough sleep because of busy jobs and social lives.

In 2007 the average person got about 9 hours sleep a night whereas in 2009 it was reduced to 7. That's over 700 hours sleep debt in a year.

When you get a good night’s sleep, about 8 hours, your body produces the hormone Leptin, which regulates your appetite. With enough Leptin, you feel full and satisfied after a meal. Adequate rest also regulates the hormone Ghrelin, which increases appetite. Skimping on sleep reverses these positive effects, with a double whammy of less Leptin and more Ghrelin, so you feel less satisfied after eating and crave more food more often.

Insufficient sleep also leaves you tired which may cause you to skip your workout and reach for sweet or starchy, or even worse, a high fructose drink, to give you a quick energy boost !!! Taking these high carb foods and drinks will indeed give you that quick energy boost but will cause a spike and then dive in your blood glucose levels which will send you back looking for more junk food.

Sleep loss also interferes with the body's ability to metabolise carbs, which leads to high levels of blood sugars, which promotes the overproduction of insulin, which leads to the storage of bodyfat and insulin resistance, a major step into the development of diabetes.

It's also important to realise that the quality of sleep is every bit as important as the quantity. Decreased amounts of "deep sleep" has been associated with reduced levels of growth hormone, which help regulate bodyfat levels in adulthood, so sleeping in late with a hangover after a night on the tiles doesn't count as your 8 hours !!!!!!

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