How Sleep Loss Stops You Losing Weight

Did you know that people who sleep less than six hours a night were 30 percent more likely to become obese than those who sleep seven to nine hours a night? That’s right. Getting sufficient sleep helps with weight loss.

Now, take into account what people do to lose weight and achieve the look they’re after:

  • Reduce carbohydrates in every meal, or even eliminate carbohydrates completely.
  • Drink lots of water
  • Exercise five times a week or even more
  • Eat large amounts of fruit and vegetables
  • Skip meals and reduce calories
  • Count calories of all foods they eat
A fat belly

Now, think about all that effort, did it make any difference? No, and as a result, we get stressed and worried over our lack of weight loss, because most people don’t know why they failed.

One important factor in failing to lose weight, especially when you put in all the effort listed above, is sleep deprivation. Regardless of how hard you try, it will all go down in flames if you don’t get enough sleep.

Let's look at how sleep deprivation hijacks our weight loss process.

The Link Between Sleep Deprivation and Lack of Weight Loss

1. Hunger Hormones

A hungry woman

Two important hunger hormones are Leptin and Ghrelin. They play a huge role in the balance of your energy. When you are sleep-deprived, these hormones become problematic. Ghrelin, which is fast acting and involved in meal initiation, overwhelms Leptin. This increases your cravings for food, even though you’re not hungry.

2. Food Choice

A woman does not know which food to choose

Lack of sleep is likely related to an increase in hunger and appetite, leading to obesity. Not only does a lack of sleep stimulate your appetite, it elevates your cravings for high fat, carbohydrate laden food. This is a vicious cycle. You get overly tired, so eat more than you should, then you gain weight, don’t sleep properly and eat more than you should again. This cycle is easily mitigated with getting sleep.

Without sufficient sleep, you are more likely to make poor food choices. You may eat more calories than you need because your body is trying to access energy from those calories to get you through the day.

When your body is tired from lack of sleep, it wants sweet food to provide easily accessed energy. This is when the sweet treats become tempting. Because your body craves the sweet food, they will be very satisfying to your psyche.

3. Workouts

A women working out

Lack of sleep affects your ability to work out efficiently. Your lack of energy affects both your ability to push yourself and complete exercises properly, and for working out for long sessions.

It should come as no surprise that your workouts become less effective, the more tired you become. 

4. Stress

A stressed woman

Stress in life is inevitable. Balancing your life, including your health and weight loss is hard work and takes a lot of energy. When you work so hard to achieve your weight loss goals, your stress levels rise when you don’t get there.

Trying to work out on a body fatigued by lack of sleep is a very difficult task. Your body won’t recover properly because it does much of this when you sleep. If you are sleep-deprived, your recovery and repair can’t happen.

Sleep, Sleep and More Sleep

It’s imperative you get sufficient sleep, which is as important as the workouts you’re trying to do. It’s also important to get sleep even if you’re not trying to lose weight. But, if you do want to lose weight, your sleep patterns must be consistent and effective.

If there is one message to give anyone who wants to either lose weight or just stay healthy, get at least eight hours sleep every night.