Losing weight is a common goal for many individuals, and there are countless methods to achieve it, such as dieting and exercising. However, there is one essential factor that often gets overlooked – sleep. Sleep is crucial for overall health, and it plays a significant role in weight loss. In this blog post, we’ll explore why sleep is essential for weight loss, the science behind it, and how it affects our body.
- Sleep deprivation affects hormones that regulate appetite and hunger Several hormones regulate appetite and hunger, including ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin stimulates appetite, while leptin suppresses it. When we don’t get enough sleep, ghrelin levels increase, and leptin levels decrease. As a result, we feel hungrier and have a harder time controlling our appetite. A study conducted by Spiegel et al. (2004) found that sleep restriction caused an increase in ghrelin and a decrease in leptin, leading to an increase in hunger and appetite.
- Lack of sleep affects metabolism and energy expenditure Sleep deprivation affects the body’s metabolism, slowing it down, which leads to a decrease in energy expenditure. In other words, our body burns fewer calories when we’re sleep-deprived. In a study by Markwald et al. (2013), sleep restriction resulted in a significant decrease in resting metabolic rate and energy expenditure.
- Lack of sleep leads to stress and emotional eating Sleep deprivation causes stress, which can lead to emotional eating. When we’re stressed, we tend to reach for comfort food, which is often high in calories, sugar, and fat. A study by Sperry et al. (2018) found that sleep-deprived individuals consumed more high-calorie foods than well-rested individuals.
- Sleep affects insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels Sleep deprivation affects insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels, increasing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. A study by Knutson et al. (2007) found that sleep restriction led to reduced insulin sensitivity, which is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes.
In conclusion, sleep is essential for weight loss, and it should not be overlooked. Sleep deprivation affects hormones that regulate appetite and hunger, metabolism and energy expenditure, stress, emotional eating, insulin sensitivity, and blood sugar levels. Getting enough sleep is an easy and effective way to support weight loss efforts. So, make sure to prioritize sleep as a part of your weight loss journey.
- Spiegel, K., Tasali, E., Penev, P., & Van Cauter, E. (2004). 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, 141(11), 846-850.
- Markwald, R. R., Melanson, E. L., Smith, M. R., Higgins, J., Perreault, L., Eckel, R. H., & Wright Jr, K. P. (2013). Impact of insufficient sleep on total daily energy expenditure, food intake, and weight gain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(14), 5695-5700.
- Sperry, S., Koro, S., & Fuemmeler, B. F. (2018). Relationship between sleep quality and quantity and weight loss in women participating in a weight-loss intervention trial. Obesity Science & Practice, 4(1), 76-83.
- Knutson, K. L., Spiegel, K., Penev, P., & Van Cauter, E. (2007). The metabolic consequences of sleep deprivation. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 11(3), 163-178. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smrv.2007.01.002