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If you are serious about losing fat, building muscles or maximizing your athletic performance then you must get enough sleep.

Not getting enough sleep is the single best way to destroy your health.

Now I know that most of you say you get enough sleep but most of you are just fooling yourself. We live in a world of sleep deprived people. With every passing year, there are more demands on our time: school, college, work, family, friends, facebook, wassup, television and internet. The average person sleeps an hour less each night than those a century ago and it’s not because we need less sleep.

How better sleep helps you lose fat

Sleep is the unsung hero of fat loss. Nutrition and exercise have their place, but one secret weapon in your fat loss armory takes a lot less effort, and that is "getting enough sleep".
 
Sleep deprivation makes you hungrier because it reduces the levels of leptin (the chemical that makes you feel full) and increases the levels of ghrelin (the hunger-stimulating hormone). 

Better sleep helps regulate your body’s metabolism and decreases the desire to overeat. 

When you don’t get enough sleep, your body releases more of the stress hormone “cortisol”. Cortisol is a fat generating hormone. It especially increases your belly fat. 

So if you get enough sleep, it will help you reduce belly fat.

How does sleep affect muscle growth

HGH (human growth hormone) is naturally released during the deep sleep. It improves muscular recovery and regeneration.

In men, 60% to 70% of daily human growth hormone secretion occurs during early sleep which is typically when the deepest sleep cycles occur (what we call slow-wave sleep). 

When we’re young, human growth hormone promotes growth. As we age, it helps increase muscle mass, thicken skin, and strengthen bones.  

Also, as we sleep the brain recharges. This is important for building muscle because a rested brain is a motivated and focused brain. In simple terms, when you sleep, you recover, and when you recover you repair and rebuild - all of which are needed for optimal muscle building progress. 

Conclusion

With all this information, the importance of sleep should not be overlooked. Sleep plays a role in protein synthesis, the release of HGH, helps you lose fat, enhance sex drive, increase fertility restores brain functions and gives you the necessary energy needed for next day. Make sleep a priority. You must schedule sleep like any other daily activity, so put it on your "to-do list" and cross it off every night. 

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Written by Sapna Vyas Patel , PhD in Nutrition Science and Dietetics
Sapna writes simple, easy to understand articles that are based on pure scientific evidence. She is one of the most popular fitness professionals in India and is followed on social media by fitness enthusiasts, nutritionists, dieticians, doctors, trainers, and professionals.

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