Most of us are burning the candle at both ends. Between getting up early for a workout and staying up late to put the finishing touches on that project for work, many times our sleep takes the backseat. But sleep is so important for health — and weight-loss.

In fact, a 2010 study found that if you're trying to lose a few pounds, you may want to cut back on calories but you definitely don't want to skimp on sleep. Published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers found that getting enough sleep helps your body to regulate hunger and lose more weight from fat (instead of muscle).

In the study, when dieters got adequate sleep (about 7 to 8 hours), more than half of the weight they lost was fat. When dieters got less sleep (only about 5 to 6 hours), only one-fourth of their weight loss came from fat and they produced higher levels of ghrelin, a hormone that triggers hunger and reduces energy expenditure.

Want a better night's rest starting tonight? Follow these four tips for better sleep and better health.

Jennipher WaltersJennipher Walters is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites FitBottomedGirls.com and FitBottomedMamas.com. A certified personal trainer, lifestyle and weight management coach and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and regularly writes about all things fitness and wellness for various online publications.

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