Lori Boxer in weight loss, beBee in English, Doctors Owner/Director • Weight★No★More℠ Diet Center, Inc. Sep 20, 2016 · 2 min read · +800

Are You Losing Sleep and Gaining Weight?

Are You Losing Sleep and Gaining Weight?

Sleep services all aspects of our bodies in one way or another: molecular, energy balance, as well as intellectual function, alertness and mood. There is not a single tissue in the body that is not beneficially affected by sleep. It’s the single most effective we can do every day to reset the health of our brains and bodies. Sleep helps us to think more clearly, have quicker reflexes and focus better. When we’re tired, we just can’t function at our best. The fact is, well-rested people operate at a different level than people trying to get by on 1 or 2 hours less nightly sleep.

A study done a few years ago by Dr. Qian Xiao, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute in Maryland, found that the less sleep men and women got the more weight they gained. Those who slept for six hours or less per night gained more weight than those who slept seven to eight hours.  Even more alarming was what happened to the normal-weight men and women who reported sleeping less than five hours each night: They were 30% more likely to gain 11 pounds or more compared with those who slept seven to eight hours and about 40% more likely to become obese during follow-up.

The findings are particularly powerful because the Dr. Xiao and his team followed patients’ weight gain over a 7-1/2 year period and because of the large size and diversity of the study population. The association between lack of sleep and weight gain was consistent no matter what the subject’s age, educational level, smoking status, BMI, and physical activity level. With more than 80,000 people in the study, it’s more than likely that the sleep deprivation/weight gain connection exists for just about everyone.

So, how is sleep connected to weight gain?

People who don’t get enough sleep (7 at least, 8 or 9 is better) are more likely to be hungry because the body needs more energy to stay awake. And, not only do sleepy eaters tend to consume more than enough to compensate, which leads to weight gain, but a sleepy brain responds more strongly to junk food and has less ability to rein that impulse in.

The main cause behind lack of sleep and weight gain is not being sleep derived itself, but the product of what happens to your metabolism when you are not getting enough sleep. Inadequate amounts of sleep affects the part of your brain that controls your appetite and pleasure eating. Too little sleep:

  • Decreases levels of the hormone Leptin, which signals the brain that you are full.

  • Increases levels of the hormone Ghrelin, which stimulates your hunger while also slowing the rate at which calories are burned and increasing the amount of fat you store.

This means you will feel more of an urge to eat and less satisfied when you do. In other words, you need to control Leptin and Ghrelin to successfully lose weight, but sleep deprivation makes that nearly impossible.  So, the main cause behind lack of sleep and weight gain is not being sleep derived itself, but the product of what happens to your metabolism when you are not getting enough sleep.  More Ghrelin + less Leptin = weight gain.

Just as binge-eating after way too many hours of starving yourself doesn’t work, going on a sleeping binge is not going to help your body recover from pulling an all-nighter or from consistent lack of sleep.  And not getting enough sleep doesn’t just make you tired . . . it also makes you fat.  Adequate sleep should be an important part of your weight loss (and maintenance) plan.


If you liked this post, please click the Relevant icon as well as share it with others.  Thank you. ~ Lori Boxer

Are You Losing Sleep and Gaining Weight?

I am passionate about helping my clients become slim and healthy.  I write and release weekly Fat Chat℠ podcasts to educate and motivate on all issues related to weight loss, obesity, health and wellness, diet and lifestyle change.

To learn more about me and to read my published posts: LI Profile | LI Author’s Page | bB Profile | bB Producer Page

To learn more about my business, visit my web site and follow at: LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

Lori Boxer Sep 20, 2016 · #6

Thanks to you (Julie, Mohammed, Franci and Mohammad) for taking the time to read my post; I hope you got some value from it. The fact is that we're all guilty of taking the importance of sleep for granted. Too many, including myself from time to time, think that while we may be completely 'awake' and energized, and feeling groovy even though it's 1:00 a.m. after a work day, and now the house is quiet, and we can get quality work done uninterrupted . . . don't realize that while we feel awake from the neck up, in fact our bodies desperately need the repose and repair time. The more we don't pay attention to this, the more our hormones get out of whack, and (among other things that happen) the weight begins to come on, very subtle at first. The lesson to be learned is NOT to only associate the word 'sleep' with 'tired.' But, to know when enough is enough, put the work done, shut the TV off, because you need to know to associate the word 'sleep' with the words 'relax, repair, rejuvenate.'

+3 +3
Julie Hickman Sep 20, 2016 · #5

Sleep is more essential than ever in our 24/7 society! This is very beneficial information and a fair warning not to burn the candle at both ends for too long.

+4 +4
mohammed khalaf Sep 20, 2016 · #4

thank you Lori Boxer to that informations

+2 +2
Franci Eugenia Hoffman Sep 20, 2016 · #3

Sharing in Self Improvement

+3 +3
Franci Eugenia Hoffman Sep 20, 2016 · #2

Good information, Lori. Getting the required sleep is more important than we realize.

+4 +4
Mohammad Azam Khan Sep 20, 2016 · #1

That's so good to know, thank-you @Lori Boxer.

+4 +4