Regular quality sleep is crucial to you achieving your health and wellness vision. A consistent lack of sleep has the following effects on the hormone balance within your body: Ghrelin increases, Leptin decreases, Cortisol increases and Human Growth hormone decreases.
Ghrelin and Leptin are very important hormones that help us to lose weight. Ghrelin is responsible for feelings of hunger and Leptin tells the brain when it’s time to stop eating. When you’re sleep deprived the result is an increased craving for food and not feeling full.
Consistently high levels of Cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, causes your body to think it needs to store more energy due to being in a constant “stressful” environment. This means that by eating the same diet but sleeping less will cause you to store more body fat.
Human Growth hormone helps our body with tissue repair and growth. Decreased levels of HGH prevent you from responding to training, diminished results and potentially leading to injury and overtraining.
Sleep deprivation also leads to slowed glucose metabolisation. Glucose and glycogen (stored glucose) are the main sources of energy for physical activity and exercise. Those who are sleep deprived experience slower storage of glycogen and hence performance during training suffers.
So how much sleep do we need? Everyone is different. How much sleep do you get each night when on vacation? This is probably a good guide, but generally 7-9 hours per night.