If you are serious about losing weight, you must get high-quality, restorative sleep. Sound simple? It’s serious and it’s easy to overlook. Do not dismiss this. Too many people deprive themselves of sleep on a regular basis and destroy their ability to lose weight.
When you’re sleep deprived your body simply cannot burn fat and lose weight efficiently. Sleep deprivation depresses your metabolism, increases food intake, and tells your body to store fat. 1-11 Scientific research shows that people who struggle with poor sleep are much more likely to have “major weight gain”. 10
Poor sleep wreaks havoc on your system causing multiple, cascading problems:
Lack of sleep depresses your metabolism by as much as 20% – undermining your body’s ability to burn fat and lose weight.
Hungrier, More Snacking4,5
Your hormones are thrown out-of-balance: ghrelin skyrockets, stimulating appetite, while leptin plummets, telling your body you’re not full. A recipe for disaster.
Higher Carbs & Fat4
Sleep not only makes you eat more, it also results in a stronger predisposition for foods rich in fat and carbohydrates.
Less Exercise3, 6
Not enough sleep results in less exercise and an overall drop in physical movement. Your body begins to conserve energy, destroying your weight loss goals.
Retain More Fat9
People who get more sleep burn fat much more efficiently. Research shows that the sleep-deprived burn 55% less fat than the well-rested.
Fatter as an Adult3, 6
Not getting enough sleep as a child can increase the risk for obesity by nearly double. Some studies show that children are 9% more likely to become obese for every hour of nightly sleep deprivation.
You must protect your sleep because your sleep protects your ability to lose weight - which in turn protects your health. And sleeping well doesn’t happen by accident. You decide to do it. You take the risks of not sleeping well seriously. You treat sleep as a priority in your life.
1. Harvard School of Public Health: Obesity Prevention Source. Sleep. 2012. Available at: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-causes/sleep-and-obesity/. Accessed December 18, 2014.
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC Features - Insufficient Sleep Is a Public Health Epidemic. Cdcgov. 2014. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/features/dssleep/. Accessed December 15, 2014.
4. Spiegel K. Brief Communication: Sleep Curtailment in Healthy Young Men Is Associated with Decreased Leptin Levels, Elevated Ghrelin Levels, and Increased Hunger and Appetite. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2004;141(11):846. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-141-11-200412070-00008.
5. SCHMID S, HALLSCHMID M, JAUCH-CHARA K, BORN J, SCHULTES B. A single night of sleep deprivation increases ghrelin levels and feelings of hunger in normal-weight healthy men. Journal of Sleep Research. 2008;17(3):331-334. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2869.2008.00662.x.
7. Taheri S, Lin L, Austin D, Young T, Mignot E. Short Sleep Duration Is Associated with Reduced Leptin, Elevated Ghrelin, and Increased Body Mass Index. Plos Med. 2004;1(3):e62. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0010062.
9. Nedeltcheva A, Kilkus J, Imperial J, Schoeller D, Penev P. Insufficient Sleep Undermines Dietary Efforts to Reduce Adiposity. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2010;153(7):435. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-153-7-201010050-00006.
11. Benedict C, Hallschmid M, Lassen A et al. Acute sleep deprivation reduces energy expenditure in healthy men. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2011;93(6):1229-1236. doi:10.3945/ajcn.110.006460.