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Sleep and Weight Loss

Nov 23 2021

Sleep and Weight Loss

3 Reasons Why Sleep and Weight Loss Are a Healthy Match

The amount of sleep is as important as regular exercise and dieting if you want to lose weight. Unfortunately, most people ignore its contribution and don’t get enough sleep. Actually, according to CDC, less than 35% of U.S adults sleep less than 7 hours and thus get short or insufficient sleep. That said, there is enough evidence suggesting the importance of sleep in promoting weight loss. Below are 3 reasons sleep and weight loss make a healthy match.

  1. Short Sleep Prevents Weight Loss

Interestingly, short sleep (less than 7 hours duration) has been linked to weight gain and high body mass index. An analysis of 20 studies conducted on more than 300,000 people concluded that the risk of becoming obese increases by 41% in adults who sleep less than 7 hours regularly. Contrastingly, sleep wasn’t a contributing factor to obesity in study participants who slept between 7 and 9 hours.

Lack of enough sleep also interferes with hormones that control hunger in the body. Short sleep duration increases the production of ghrelin, which increases the sense of hunger and decreases leptin production, a hormone that promotes the feeling of being full. Increased ghrelin production in the stomach sends hunger signals to the brain. Ghrelin levels are often high when you are hungry and low after eating. On the other hand, leptin is produced from fat cells and suppresses hunger.

Poor sleep also negatively affects the sympathetic nervous system, leading to increased cortisol or stress hormone production from the adrenal gland. It also suppresses the production of other hormones, such as insulin-like growth factor 1, which promotes fat storage. All these factors contribute to weight gain.

  1. Sleep Moderates Your Appetite and Prevents Late-Night Snacking

Enough sleep prevents an increase in calorie intake and appetite associated with short sleep. Several studies have found that sleep-deprived persons generally have increased appetite and high daily calorie intake. So say, a study found that sleep-deprived participants consumed 385 calories more than those who were well-rested.

Sleeping early also prevents late-night snacking that comes with staying awake past bedtime. Sleeping late creates more time for eating, especially if you stay awake after taking dinner. For instance, if you take your dinner at 9:00 pm and stay awake until 2:00 am, you will likely get hungry between dinner and sleeping time.

Interestingly, eating late at night leads to increased weight gain, higher BMI, and reduced-fat oxidation. This makes weight loss even more difficult.

  1. Sleep Enhances Physical Activity

Like sleep and weight loss, sleep and physical activity also have a close mutual relationship. Lack of sleep leads to decreased physical activity. Similarly, lack of physical activity reduces the quality of your sleep. Several studies have found that exercising regularly reduces the time it takes to fall asleep and increases sleep quality.

Short sleep also causes daytime fatigue, making you sedentary and less motivated to engage in physical activities. That aside, sleep deprivation affects your overall athletic performance negatively by decreasing the following;

  • Endurance
  • Fine motor skills
  • Reaction time
  • Muscular power
  • Problem-solving skills

Decreased athletic performance increases the risk of getting injured during exercise. That said, getting sufficient sleep increases your athletic performance and motivation to exercise, which significantly promotes weight loss.


Lack of sleep can drastically sabotage your weight loss efforts. It decreases the activity of the frontal lobe of the brain, the part involved in impulse control and decision making. This explains why sleep-deprived persons who make poor food choices have increased hunger, and hinder physical activity, all of which contribute to weight gain. If you are having difficulty losing weight contact Vitality Aesthetic & Regenerative Medicine to find out more about how we can help with your weight loss goals.