The importance of sleep and your physical well-being is astronomical. Most of your former bad habits or prolonged issues can be linked to a lack of sleep.
The risk of obesity rises with those with a sleep deficit. A study in teenagers showed with every hour of sleep lost, the risk for obesity rose. But it's not just teenagers, so you can't blame it on the hormones, but wait, yes, you can, sleep affects those too!
A healthy amount of sleep balances the levels of ghrelin, the hormones that make you feel hungry, and leptin, the hormones that make you feel full. If you wake up in the morning starving, blame it on a not so good night sleep. When you're restless the levels of ghrelin increase and the leptin levels decrease. Sleep can also affect insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. Higher blood sugar levels can increase the threat of diabetes.
When you sleep your heart and blood vessels are repairing themselves, and sleep releases a hormone to boost muscle mass. Continued unrest increases your risk for a host of issues including, heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.
The good news is physical activity and your nutrition can aid in a good night's sleep. Activity during the day, not close to bedtime, helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Making sure you don't go to sleep hungry or too full and avoiding alcohol and caffeine eases you into a restful slumber.