Sleep Deprivation and Weight Loss

Getting more sleep may be an essential part of your weight loss plan. Sleep deprivation leads to weight gain in many ways, so getting the right amount of sleep can help counter these effects, allowing you to lose weight.

sleep deprivation

Eating to Stay Awake

One of the ways that sleep deprivation contributes to weight gain is that many people use food to help them stay awake, especially if they’re trying to work through the night. As you get tired and you start to feel drowsy, you may take a break and get a snack. Getting up, walking around, and eating can all give you an immediate energy boost that can help you push on for another half hour or so, but in the meantime, you are adding calories.

A Sleepy Metabolism

Unfortunately, if you’re losing sleep, it can affect your metabolism. Sleep deprivation can impact two of your body’s diet hormones, ghrelin, and leptin. Sleep deprivation increases your level of ghrelin, which stimulates hunger, and decreases your levels of the hormone leptin, which suppresses food intake. The combination means that you’re more likely to feel hungry and eat more.

Mmm . . . Doughnuts!

Another thing that sleep deprivation can do is impact your response to junk food. According to a recent study, sleep deprivation increases your desire your junk food and decreases the ability of your impulse control to stop you from eating it.

The combination means that you are more likely to eat more junk food the day after you miss out on sleep.

Sleep Your Body Slim?

The effect of all these factors is significant. How significant is hard to say, but trying to get more sleep is good for your health, whether or not it leads to weight loss, so it’s a good place to start.

There’s a twist, though. If you are overweight, you are at an increased risk for sleep apnea, in which your breathing gets cut off intermittently at night, forcing your brain to wake up a little bit. You may not know it, but you could be waking up hundreds of times a night. That will make it hard to get the quality sleep you need to help with your weight loss. If spending more time in your bed isn’t helping you to feel more rested in the morning, talk to your doctor about sleep apnea.

If you are looking for comprehensive support for your weight loss, please contact Med-Fit Medical Weight Loss Clinic in Denver.

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Dr. Angela Tran