You may think the ticket to losing weight is moving all the time. And yes, exercise and physical activity are important — but sleep is, too.

“There is no question that good quality and a sufficient duration of sleep are beneficial to reaching or maintaining a healthy weight,” says Peter Polos, MD, PhD, sleep medicine specialist and Sleep Number sleep expert based in Edison, New Jersey.

That’s because a lack of sleep can throw your diet and exercise routines off course. If you’ve ever gotten a poor night’s rest and found yourself reaching for chips and sweets the next day, you’ve seen this in action.

Read on to learn why the body responds that way and what you can do to optimize your sleep to stay on track with your weight goals.

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