By KATE BERTOG and COURTNEY SALISBURY
Many people believe that dieting and exercising are the two main components of improving health; however, sleep is proven to be just as beneficial. Not getting enough sleep can strongly affect an individual’s body weight as short sleep duration is one of the most powerful risk factors for weight gain. According to a recent study, “children and adults with short sleep duration were 89% and 55% more likely to become obese, respectively.” Individuals who do not receive enough sleep will find themselves having little or no motivation to exercise.
In relation to obesity, individuals who obtain good sleeping habits tend to consume fewer calories than those who do not. Hormones that regulate an individual’s appetite are affected by their poor sleeping habits. These hormones include ghrelin, a hormone that triggers appetite, and leptin, a hormone that reduces appetite. Individuals who do not receive enough sleep may also experience difficulty in regards to proper functioning of the brain. Productivity, performance, concentration, and cognition are negatively affected by poor sleeping habits. A recent study has proven that medical interns who do not obtain good sleeping habits are bound to make more errors than interns who allow themselves more sleep.