Why sleep deprivation causes weight gain?

Why sleep deprivation causes weight gain?

Sleep is a natural and necessary process for rest and recovery of the body. Any interruption of sleep, going to bed late, insufficient duration of sleep leads to physical and mental stress, health problems … and weight gain.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than a third of adults over 20 years in the world are overweight, and over the past 30 years their number has doubled and reached 1.5 billion people.

Believe, that person who likes to sleep longer tend to gain weight is popular but wrong. On the contrary, the results of the US study of 70,000 women, which lasted 16 years, shows that the risk of gain weight in those who spend only five hours of sleep a day is 32%, which is 15% higher than those, who sleep seven hours.

In order to operate full the organism and its systems to function properly, it needs a healthy lifestyle, which includes the required amount of sleep.

When there is insufficient sleep the main danger to health is the development of cardiovascular disease.

To keep functioning correctly, when you are awake and  with sleep deprivation, the body reduces the amount of energy consumed. This, of course, is related to the delay of all metabolic processes in the body which as a result leads to weight gain. The bad news does not stop here. Insufficient sleep releases cortisol – the stress hormone whose effect is testing hunger by waking organism.

According to the American Association of Sleep, chronic sleep deprivation seriously affect the metabolism of the body worsens overall health and add the extra weight.


As insomnia are marked various sleep disorders that affect its normal duration. Insomnia can affect anyone regardless of age. More affected are women than men in adulthood. Causes of insomnia can be physical factors or emotional experiences. It leads to problems such as reduced performance, depression, impatience etc.

How lack of sleep affects the body?

Influences the metabolism and the ability of the digestive system to utilize carbohydrates, which is linked with a sharp rise in blood sugar and insulin level. The result – weight gain.

It is possible to develop resistance to insulin, which increases the risk of developing diabetes. Furthermore, insomnia reduces the level of growth hormone that regulates the ratio of fat and muscle in the body.

Lack of sleep has an effect on blood pressure as it increases, which is a precondition for cardiovascular disease.

Sleep, hormones, and overweight

Studies on the relationship between lack of sleep and the weight gain concluded that sleep deprivation affects the synthesis of ghrelin and leptin, which are responsible for hunger and the feeling of satiety. To put it simply: leptin suppresses appetite ghrelin stimulate it.

When the balance between ghrelin and leptin diverges, there is a constant feeling of hunger, which can hardly be controlled no matter the amounts of food you have eaten.

When sleep deprivation becomes a chronic problem, the level of ghrelin rises and leptin – falls. This already leads to “ravenous hunger”. The result is clear – weight gain due to overeating.

The first step in order to stop the weight gain and lose weight is to identify the reasons for the sleep disorders. They usually have a rapid treatment. To improve the quality of sleep is necessary to increase physical activity, reduce the consumption of alcohol and caffeine.

There are cases where lack of sleep is associated with health problems such as enlarged tonsils, nasal congestion that prevents the normal airflow.

Medications that are used in sleep disorders have side effect like gain weight, which should be discussed with your doctor.

Here are several reasons why good sleep is so important:

Beauty sleep

Between 10 p.m and midnight is the time of so-called “beauty sleep”. At this time the sleep is deepest and with very high quality and the recovery is the most complete. This has a beneficial effect on facial muscles, eyes and mood, so don’t miss it!

Sleep reduces stress

The accumulated stress during the day magically disappears with the regular eight-hour dose of sleep. Think of sleep as a natural medicine that must accept at the end of the day to have energy for the next one.

Sleep restores and energizes

Good sleep is very important for athletes because when the body is at maximum rest, starts the longest period of muscle growth. Sleep is no less important for a non-sports person. While each of you sleeps at night, your body is working for your health and self-esteem.

Sleep heals

Sleep has a beneficial effect on many diseases – mental, neurological, heart. It’s no secret that because of immune mechanism that starts during sleep, even a person with a cold or flu in the morning feels much better and is almost healed.

Sleep calms

Try to get used to the calming herbal teas  (lemon balm, lime, mint) sweetened with honey. This, combined with sleep, will ensure you calmed body and mind ready for the new day.

Sleep helps positive thinking

The morning is wiser than the evening. And it’s very true. Due to too much information at the end of the day often our mind falls into lethargy or depression. Forget the pills! Just sleep well – the world looks different with the sunrise.

Sleep stimulates creativity

A good sleep improves the function of the brain and sharpens the senses. Even when a person sleeps, the brain continues to work and make connections between incompatible awake concepts or ideas. This, in turn, is good ground for the creative process.

How to sleep better?

Temperature: Extremely healthy is to sleep in a cool, around 18 ° in winter and 26 ° in summer temperature. Note that large temperature differences are not recommended. Tourists know that you can sleep in the tent at 5 ° and is not a big deal. Do not be afraid of the cool air!

Water: Taking a shower or bath before and after sleep is as nice as it is healthy. Clears the stress and you feel freshness and tranquility. Your body is 70% water and loves its impact. Drink more than 2l per day. Water is health!

Atmosphere: Clean up your bedroom from all unnecessary items. The mind rests best when there is a nice atmosphere. Avoid placing TV, laptops  and other electrical devices around your  bed. Instead of a movie or show, try to fall asleep with a good book.

Ceremony: Create a ceremony before bedtime. Cup of tea, hug, walk, cool shower, book. The mind loves ceremonies regularly repeating actions, they calm and give the mind a sense of security.

About Jane Peterson

Jane Peterson is a supportive nutrition and fitness coach and registered dietitian nutritionist known for her health advices and innovative ideas to inspire and motivate people to reach their goals. She has a passion for personal training and enjoys motivating people, using specific exercise programs and track their progression for success. As a parent herself, Jane Peterson knows what it means to have to work hard to keep a good shape during pregnancy and after having a baby. She is interested about improving the way children eat, pediatric nutrition and family meal planning. Jane has several years of personal and professional experience and is practicing as a freelance food and health writer. She works personally with a small number of hand picked clients, transforming their health and their physiques using her four key elements of wellness: lifestyle, exercise, nutrition and supplementation.

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