Ways Getting a Better Night Sleep Can Help You Lose Weight


The debate about losing weight always revolves around two things; healthy eating and working out. Many people argue that you only need to eat less and exercise more to lose weight. Nonetheless, this has been disproved by a research paper in the Annals of Internal Medicine, which suggests that lack of sleep undoes the results of healthy dieting and exercising. Therefore, if you’re trying to shed weight, a good night’s sleep will help whip you into shape. Here’s how better night sleep can help you lose weight.

1. Poor Sleep Puts You at the Risk of Obesity

Individuals who have poor sleeping patterns have a high body mass index. Even though we all have different sleep requirements, research indicates that there is likely to be a significant weigh change in individuals who sleep for less than 7 hours every night.

A short sleep duration increases the prospect of obesity by 55% in adults and 89% in kids. Adults who sleep 5 hours or less per night are 15% more likely to be overweight than those who sleep for at least 7 hours. Furthermore, many sleep disorders, including sleep apnea, are exacerbated by weight gain. It’s a vicious cycle because poor sleep can lead to weight gain, which reduces your sleep quality even further.  

2. Better Sleep Eliminates Food Cravings

Often, people think that hunger and food cravings are related to self-control. Nonetheless, this isn’t the case because hunger is controlled by leptin and ghrelin. The human fat cells produce hormone leptin. The less leptin your body produces, the more the belly feels empty. Similarly, the more ghrelin the body produces, the more you feel hungry. High ghrelin production also reduces the number of calories that your body burns, besides increasing the amount of fat that your body stores.

To lose weight, you must control the amount of ghrelin and leptin that your body produces. Nonetheless, sleep deprivation makes this almost impossible. Sleeping for less than 6 hours every night triggers the part of the human brain that intensifies your food cravings. Poor sleep also stimulates ghrelin production while depressing leptin production. This highlights the need to get adequate sleep in your quest to lose weight.  

3. Poor Sleep Increases Your Calorie Intake

Individuals who sleep less are likely to consume more calories than those who sleep sufficiently. A survey of 12 men established that those who slept for only 4 hours every night consumed 559 more calories on the following day than those who slept for 8 hours. This increase in calorie uptake can be attributed to increased appetite as well as poor food choices.

Research on sleep deprivation has also established that a significant portion of excess calories gets consumed as snacks at night. Often, this is done after dinner. If you stay up late watching TV or engaging in any other activity, you are likely to eat a snack. This increases your calorie intake, thus hampering your weight-loss goals.

Poor sleep can also affect your ability to control your food portion sizes. When you sleep less, you’re likely to eat bigger portions the following day, compared to someone who sleeps for at least 7 hours. Sleep deprivation increases the production of the hunger hormone ghrelin.

4. Poor Sleep Disrupts Your Gym Time

Working out goes a long way in helping you to lose weight. The disastrous impact of sleep deprivation extends beyond diet into your workouts. Regardless of your fitness goals, having body muscle is important since muscle helps to burn fat. Nonetheless, inadequate sleep affects your muscle function since it decreases protein synthesis, which is the body’s ability to produce muscle. It also causes muscle loss, besides leading to more incidences of muscle injury, which hampers your ability to exercise regularly.

Furthermore, poor sleep quality makes it more difficult for your body to recover from workouts by slowing down the natural production of growth hormone. This hormone has fat-burning and anti-aging properties, and also facilities post-workout recovery. Typically, this happens in two ways:

  • Poor sleep translates to less slow-wave sleep. This is the time when the growth hormone gets released to the body.
  • Poor sleep quality also increases the production of cortisol, a growth hormone. This, in turn, hampers growth hormone production. Therefore, the already reduced growth hormone production due to lack of slow-wave sleep is reduced further by the presence of more cortisol in your body. Needless to say, this is a vicious cycle.

5. Poor Sleep Decreases Your Resting Metabolism

Resting metabolic rate (RMR) is the amount of calories that your body burns while resting. It’s affected by gender, muscle mass, height, weight, and age. According to research, sleep deprivation could lower your RMR. If you stay awake for 24 hours, your RMR is likely to be 5% less than the RMR of someone who has had a normal night’s rest. Likewise, your metabolic rate is likely to be 20% lower.

Therefore, poor sleep contributes to muscle loss since your muscles burn more calories while at rest than fat does. When you lose muscle, your resting metabolic rate increases. A 22lbs loss of muscle mass can lower your body’s RMR by almost 100 calories per day. This makes it harder for you to lose weight.

6. Adequate Sleep Makes You More Active

Poor sleep causes daytime fatigue, thus making you less motivated to work out. When you sleep poorly at night, you are also likely to get more tired when engaging in exercises the following day. sleep deprivation decreases the intensity of your physical activities. On the other hand, a good night’s sleep significantly improves your athletic performance. You are likely to be faster and more accurate when exercising after a good night’s sleep.

It’s hard to ignore adequate sleep in relation to weight loss. Obesity, high blood pressure, heart failure, cognitive failure, and diabetes, all have a connection to poor sleep. Therefore, the need to sleep adequately goes beyond seeing positive results from your workout and dieting efforts. Even as you schedule your sleeping hours, you need to purchase the right type of mattress that will allow you to enjoy better sleep.

Written by Megan Taylor
Megan is a beauty expert who is passionate about all things makeup and glam! Her love for makeup has brought her to become a beauty pro at Glamour Garden Cosmetics.