Yesterday I was exhausted. I'm not one of those people who always says "I'm exhausted"; when I say it, I mean it. For the last few months I've taken on everything I can and more. A full time job, starting my own business, personal styling, and blogging. On top of that I workout 1-2 hours daily, like to spend time with friends, and have some "me time". I have been really bad about getting enough sleep. I have probably averaged about 5.5 hours a night for the last month. If you have read about my "musties" here you know sleep is essential for my personal health.

How much sleep do we need?
8 hours is ideal.

Does sleep effect my weight?
Yes, when Cortisol(stress hormone) levels  are high you are more likely to store body fat. Studies also show you are more likely to eat more when sleep deprived. You are also more likely to find inflammation in your body or bloating when you don't get enough sleep.

Can I lose muscle if I'm not sleeping enough? 
Yes. Protein synthesis happens when you are sleeping. If you don't get enough sleep, you can experience muscle atrophy, and decreased levels of testosterone (which we all need to build lean muscle and a fast metabolism).

Can I recover from workouts without sleep? 
You don’t get stronger, faster, and fitter during a workout. You get stronger, faster, and fitter after your workout while recovering. This includes nutrition, rest, sleep, and hands on work (mobility, stretching, massage).

What else is making it hard to get 8 hours?
Stress. If you are stressed you are less likely to get 8 hours of sleep, which also inhibits recovery. When you exercise you essentially put your body in a stress state. If you are stressed outside of your workouts your tissues won't recover as quickly.

What does this all mean? I'm too busy to sleep! 
You need to prioritize sleep just like you would your nutrition or workouts. Always put your health and happiness first.