A recent article in the Scientific American discusses the fact that we all seem to be routinely getting insufficient sleep. I then decided to have a trawl through some of the articles relating to sleep.
In the initial article one of the effects of a lack of sleep is that the hormones regulating hunger are altered such that there can be an increase in food consumption. This comes along with a reduction in the sensitivity of your fat cells to insulin making it easier to gain weight as we might find in those who suffer from diabetes. A lack of sleep also seems to have an impact on the desire to exercise, something I can relate to with a 2 month old in the house. Moderate aerobic does have a positive impact on sleep quality but you need to build up the habit but a lack of sleep seems to have an immediate impact on your desire to do anything the next day. So there we have a multiple impact from a lack of sleep; increased desire to eat, reduced insulin sensitivity and a reduced desire to exercise.
So long term we want to try to develop the habit of getting to bed earlier which will help us get more sleep which in turn will mean we wan to exercise more. It will also reduce the impact of any reduction in our sensitivity to insulin and a desire to eat more.