Sleep and Weight Loss

According to experts, your poor sleeping habits might be to blame for the extra pounds you see on the scale. Researchers at Hackensack University Medical Center’s Institute for Sleep and Wake Disorders found that people who sleep less than 7.5 hours per night might have a “sleep deficit.”

This means the body doesn’t get enough rest and as a result will look for ways to gather the energy it needs from other sources. Those sources are usually food-related.

  • When you don’t sleep enough, your body also doesn’t produce enough leptin. Leptin is the hormone that tells your brain you’re full and don’t need to eat anymore.


  • If you don’t have enough leptin circulating in your body, you’ll feel hungry all the time. Even worse, you’ll feel hungry for foods that provide a quick burst of energy: carbohydrates.

  • All carbs, whether they taste sweet or not, convert to sugar once you consume them. That’s why they’re excellent sources of energy. Unfortunately, it’s always a short-lived energy –A few hours later you’ll be craving more carbs to prevent your body from crashing.

So how much sleep do you need?

  • That depends. Most adults need an average of 7.5 hours per day, although numbers do vary between 6 and 9 hours, depending on a number of factors. How much you exercise, your diet and your level of stress all affect how much sleep you need. Keep in mind that the 7.5 hours need to be quality sleep.

  • If you keep waking up in the middle of the night or if you toss and turn because of uncomfortable temperatures, a bad mattress or outdoor noises, you might need more time to get your beauty rest.

Not getting enough sleep?

  • Try eliminating evening intake of anything that contains caffeine or sugar –both of which are stimulants. Don’t eat for at least two hours before going to bed.

  • That gives your body enough time to digest all food, so you don’t feel heavy once you’re ready to sleep.

With these small adjustments, you should be able to get more sleep and better weight loss results.