What's sleep got to do with your waistline? Turns out, plenty. Sleep is essential to regulating the appetite-related hormones ghrelin, which signals hunger, and leptin, which tells us when we're full. A steady diet of inadequate sleep is associated with too much ghrelin and too little leptin. As a result, you may be at an increased risk of obesity, diabetes and hypertension.
According to research by Columbia University Medical Center professor James Gangwisch, Ph.D., an epidemiologist, folks sleeping five or fewer hours a night have a 60 percent higher risk of obesity than those sleeping 7 hours. Those getting less sleep had a 47 percent greater risk of diabetes, and a 60 percent greater likelihood of developing hypertension over a decade.