General Health

Surprising! Your Sleep Pattern Actually Affects Your Body Weight

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By Apollo 24|7, Published on - 30 August 2022, Updated on - 17 November 2023

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Do you know how much sleep your body requires? 6 to 7 hours or more? While everybody requires a specific amount of sleep to function properly, less sleep can actually be the reason for your increasing weight! Intriguingly, growing data suggest that sleep may be the chief factor that is missing in the struggles of many people who are trying to lose weight. Here are the reasons why getting adequate sleep might aid in weight loss.

Relationship between sleep and weight loss

Several studies have highlighted the potential weight loss benefits of achieving a proper night's rest as well as the detrimental health effects of sleep deprivation. Insufficient sleep and poor sleep quality have been linked to metabolic abnormalities, weight gain, an increased risk of obesity, and other chronic health concerns.

Although there is ongoing research about the precise nature of this relationship, the available evidence indicates a link between sound sleep and healthy body weight.

sleep and weight loss

Can sleep deprivation increase appetite?

While people frequently assume that hunger is merely a question of the stomach growling, in reality, neurotransmitters, which are the chemical messengers that allow neurons (nerve cells) to interact with one another, control hunger. This is how these messengers work:

  • It is believed that leptin and ghrelin neurotransmitters are crucial for keeping the appetite in check. While leptin helps people feel full, ghrelin encourages hunger.
  • The levels of these neurotransmitters keep fluctuating throughout the day, alerting the body to consume food and gain some calories. However, sleep deprivation may affect the levels of these neurotransmitters.
  • According to one study, men who slept for 4 hours had higher ghrelin levels and lower leptin levels than men who slept for 10 hours.
  • Research shows that an imbalance of ghrelin and leptin may cause an increase in hunger pangs and a decrease in sensations of fullness. 

Additionally, several studies have shown that sleep loss has an impact on a person’s eating choices. People who are sleep-deprived often opt for foods that are high in calories and carbohydrates.

Does sleep boost metabolic rate?

The process by which the body transforms food and liquids into energy is known as metabolism. While sleep cannot enhance metabolism solely, several studies have demonstrated that a lack of sleep frequently results in metabolic dysregulation. Furthermore, increased oxidative stress, glucose intolerance (a condition that can lead to diabetes), and insulin resistance are all linked to poor sleep. 

Sleep for weight loss

A healthy weight loss strategy must include getting good sleep. Most significantly, studies have revealed that skipping sleep while dieting might reduce the weight loss process and promote overeating. Getting less sleep could mess with your circadian cycles and make you gain weight.

sleep for weight loss

How to get a good night's sleep while losing weight?

Here are a few evidence-based suggestions for getting a better night's sleep while dieting:

  • Maintain a regular sleep schedule: Sudden changes in your sleep pattern or attempting to catch up on sleep after a week of late nights might alter your metabolism and impair your ability to use insulin effectively, which makes it easier for your blood sugar to rise.
  • Sleep in a dark room: Artificial light exposure while you're asleep, such as from a TV or bedside lamp, is linked to an increased risk of weight gain and obesity.
  • Avoid eating soon before bedtime: It may hinder your attempts to lose weight.
  • Reduce stress: Persistent stress may affect sleep quality and cause weight gain in a number of ways, including using food as a coping mechanism for unpleasant feelings.
  • Be an early bird: People who stay up late tend to eat more calories and are more likely to acquire weight. Compared to night owls, early risers may have a higher chance of maintaining weight loss.

It must be noted that not getting enough sleep might undermine your weight loss attempts. If you're struggling to lose weight, it might be time to look at your sleeping patterns. An average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Getting the much-needed rest you require can be the key to achieving your weight loss objectives. If you have difficulty falling asleep,

Consult an Apollo Specialist


Medically reviewed by Dr Sonia Bhatt.

General Health

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