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What Happens To Your Weight When You Skip Out on Sleep?

If weight loss or weight maintenance is one of your goals, you may be surprised…


If weight loss or weight maintenance is one of your goals, you may be surprised to learn that sleep plays a crucial role in achieving it.



While the basic principle of weight management revolves around “calories in, calories out,” the quality and duration of your sleep can significantly influence your calorie intake.

Numerous studies have shown that inadequate sleep can lead to overeating and weight gain over time, especially among individuals struggling with overeating tendencies. In this article, we will explore the connection between sleep and weight and why poor sleep can sabotage your weight loss efforts.


What Happens When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep?

Sleep deprivation has profound effects on various aspects of your health. Beyond feeling groggy and fatigued, insufficient sleep can impair cognitive function, memory, and decision-making abilities. It can also negatively impact mood and increase the risk of accidents and injuries.

Research suggests that chronic sleep deprivation is associated with a higher risk of developing chronic health conditions such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even certain cancers.

Simply put, when you don’t get enough sleep- you and your health suffer.


How Many Hours of Sleep Should You Get?

Short sleep duration, defined as less than six hours, has been associated with an increased risk of weight gain and obesity. Lack of adequate sleep can disrupt metabolic processes, including the regulation of appetite-controlling hormones.

Sleep deprivation also leads to more calorie consumption. Research shows that short sleep can actually lead to an increased calorie intake of 300-559 calories during the following day! That can add up to thousands of extra calories each week with chronic sleep deprivation.

Shorter sleep duration is also linked to higher levels of ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates hunger, and lower levels of leptin, the hormone responsible for signaling fullness. This hormonal imbalance can lead to increased appetite, cravings for high-calorie foods, and a higher likelihood of overeating.


Poor Sleep Can Influence Food Choices & Lead to Weight Gain

Poor sleep quality, characterized by frequent awakenings, difficulty falling asleep, or experiencing non-restorative sleep, can contribute to weight gain and affect your food choices.

Disrupted sleep can interfere with the normal regulation of appetite hormones, leading to increased hunger and cravings, especially for high-calorie and sugary foods. Research suggests that sleep deprivation can lead to increased cravings for high-calorie, sugary, and fatty foods. Lack of sleep affects the brain’s reward centers, making unhealthy foods more appealing and impairing your ability to make healthier food choices.

Additionally, poor sleep can affect glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity, potentially contributing to the development of insulin resistance and weight gain. Sleep deprivation can disrupt the balance of hormones that regulate appetite, leading to increased hunger and a preference for energy-dense foods.


Infographic on Improving Your Sleep for Weight Management

What Have We Learned?

The impact of sleep on body weight goes beyond mere calorie counting. Inadequate sleep and poor sleep quality can disrupt hormonal balance, increase hunger, cravings, and alter food choices, ultimately sabotaging your weight management efforts.

Striving for the recommended amount of sleep, establishing healthy sleep habits, and addressing sleep disorders can positively impact your weight and overall health.

Remember, achieving quality sleep is a multifaceted endeavor that involves creating a conducive sleep environment, adopting a regular sleep schedule, managing stress, and prioritizing self-care.

By acknowledging the importance of sleep and making it a priority in your life, you can support your weight management journey and experience the numerous benefits that quality sleep offers!

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