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Have you seen the report Adolescent Sleep Needs and Patterns from the National Sleep Foundation?
The National Institutes for Health (NIH) determined that teens and young adults are a high risk for problem sleepiness. In other words, a large percentage of that group doesn’t get enough quality sleep at night and has trouble staying alert and focused during the day. The biggest concern is that the lack of alertness can lead to accidental injuries and fatalities. The report that drivers 25 or under cause more than half of the car accidents from falling asleep at the wheel. Sleepiness has also been linked to poor short-term memory, difficulty learning, bad mood, and low productivity.
Does lack of sleep affect your ability to lose weight? It appears that the answer is yes, it does.
I found one study on PubMed that shows that sleep deprivation does reduce your ability to lose weight, even when you are on a diet. The results say that lost sleep “decreased the proportion of weight lost as fat by 55%” and “increased the loss of fat-free body mass by 60%”. So not only does sleep deprivation reduce your ability to lose fat, you end up losing good mass.
It is amazing how many different problems people can have with sleeping. Some people have trouble getting to sleep, some are light sleepers, some wake up several times during the night, and some thrash while they sleep. Then there are the actual disorders like sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome. People don’t get enough sleep because they are busy and others sleep too long because they get quality while they are sleeping.