The Science Behind Sleep and Weight Loss

If you’re trying to lose weight but the scale isn’t moving, it might be worth changing your sleeping patterns.

Although we all need to sleep, many people forget to prioritize it. If you sleep less than recommended, you could be more at risk for obesity and other health problems.

What can you do to increase your sleep quality?

Some studies show a correlation between weight gain, sleep quality, and both

Even though you may think you get enough sleep, if your sleep time is less than 7 hours each night, it could be that you are not getting the recommended amount of sleep.

According to the ( Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) – Trusted Source, adults between 18 and 60 years old should aim for 7 hours or more sleep each night. This amount is 7 to 9 for those between 61 and 64.

However, only 35 percent of Americans were sleeping less than 7 hours per night as of 2014.

A 2013 study by Trusted Source showed that healthy adults who slept 5 hours per night for five nights gained an average weight of 1.8 lbs.
Insufficient sleep, inability to control your hunger

The first step to losing weight is to eat less.

Your body might eat more if your appetite hormones, ghrelin and leptin, are out of balance.

Ghrelin increases appetite by increasing hunger signals within the brain. This makes you eat more. Leptin on the other side suppresses hunger and signals fullness to your brain.

When you’re not getting enough sleep, your body will produce more ghrelin. This could cause you to overeat.

A 2004 study actually found that the levels of ghrelin were 14.9 percent higher among people who slept less than others who got enough sleep. Study also showed that people who slept less had 15.5 percent more leptin levels.
Combating cravings and sleep deprivation

It’s not easy to say no to healthier foods when you lack sleep.

A small controlled trial by Trusted Source revealed that sleep deprivation can lead to an increase in your desire to eat high-calorie foods and a decrease in your ability to resist.

Researchers discovered that the amount of sleep required to reach endocannabinoid levels was lower than normal. This is a chemical signal that affects your appetite and brain’s reward system.

This was particularly noticeable when participants were not sleeping well. The afternoon Endocannabinoid levels were greater and lasted longer.
Exercise and sleeping better

Exercise is an essential part of your daily life if you want to lose weight or stay healthy. If you don’t get enough rest, it may be difficult to move.

Still, research on sleep loss and energy expenditure is lacking. Sedentary behavior is more likely to be increased if fatigue or sleepiness increases. This could result in less exercise and physical activity.

Healthy Sleep Hygiene Tips

You will be able to fall asleep faster and stay asleep through the night if you have healthy sleep habits. These are some suggestions to get you started.

A nightly routine should include time to relax, such as reading or listening to music, and a morning routine.
By dimming the lights and setting your thermostat at 65°F (18.3degC), you can transform your bedroom into a calm, peaceful environment.
Every day, try to get up at the same time each morning and go to bed at the same hour every night.
Turn off all electronic devices at least 60 minutes before you go to sleep.
Avoid drinking alcohol and caffeine in the evenings. Don’t consume large quantities of fat-laden meals.
Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, mindfulness meditation and deep breathing can reduce stress levels.
Each day, do at least 30 minutes of exercise and/or physical activity.
Talk to your doctor if you have trouble sleeping, or if your sleeping habits aren’t working.


Weight loss is not just about exercise and diet. How much sleep you get each day could have an impact on your weight.

You can lose weight by adopting healthy sleep habits such as avoiding caffeine before you go to bed and following a set schedule.