What Is The Impact Of Sleep On Weight Loss And Fitness Gains?

Impact Of Sleep

It is natural not to think of sleep when listing the factors that can impact weight gain. Contrary to popular belief, sleep deprivation directly connects weight gain and weight management. A lack of quality sleep can negatively impact your metabolism and weight management, resulting in unprecedented weight gain.

If you are trying to lose weight, the amount of sleep you get is as substantial as your exercise and diet regimen. Studies show that people with limited sleep duration tend to have a higher weight than those who get sufficient quality sleep.

One study shows that adults and children with short sleep durations were 55% and 89% more likely to develop obesity, respectively. Several other studies also show that adequate sleep may be the pivotal missing factor for people unable to lose weight.

Although there isn’t a fixed rule, the general rule of thumb is to get between seven to nine hours of sleep every night. It is advisable for people who fail to get this much sleep to consult with a sleep medicine doctor or insomnia specialist or sit for a home sleep apnea test.

Those who do not wish to get an at home sleep study can also get insomnia treatment online by consulting a sleep doctor virtually.

Reasons Why Sleep Deprivation Can Impact Weight Loss and Fitness Gains

Poor sleep can be a significant risk factor for obesity and weight gain

Sleep requirements vary from individual to individual, but scientific studies show changes in weight in people who get less than seven hours of sleep. Poor quality and limited sleep duration have been consistently linked with weight gain and a higher body mass index (BMI).

Additionally, several sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, are aggravated by weight gain, proving to be a vicious cycle. Weight gain can worsen sleep disorders, and sleep disorders can promote weight gain.

Poor sleep increases appetite

Studies show that sleep deprivation causes individuals to have a bigger appetite, prompting them to eat more. This is primarily because of the impact of less sleep on the hormones that signal fullness and hunger.

Research also shows that a lack of sleep can elevate the craving for foods rich in fat, carbohydrates, and calories. People who get adequate sleep tend to consume fewer calories than those who do not get enough sleep.

Good sleep promotes physical activity

Sleep deprivation naturally causes fatigue, making individuals less motivated to undergo physical activity. People who end up exercising on low sleep tend to get tired earlier. Therefore, getting good quality sleep can augment your athletic ability and performance.

Impact of sleep

Effects of a sleepy brain

Getting a low amount of sleep prompts the brain to make bad decisions. Sleep deprivation tends to dull the brain’s frontal lobe activity, the primary center that controls impulses and impacts decision-making.
Thus, being low on sleep is a little like being drunk: you fail to achieve the mental clarity to make the right decisions. Additionally, the brain’s reward center speeds up when you’re tired and even more when you are overtired. This causes the brain to look for a reward or something that feels good.

So although you may be able to suppress your comfort-food cravings when you are well-rested, sleep deprivation can make this decision quite difficult. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that sleep-deprived people were more likely to eat late at night and choose high-carb snacks.

Another study conducted by the University of Chicago concluded that sleep-deprived participants chose snacks twice as rich in fats as compared to those who slept at least eight hours. A similar study found that people who slept too little were likely to consume bigger portions of food, prompting food gain.
A review of 18 studies showed that a lack of sleep caused an increased craving for high-carb, energy-dense foods.

Sleep and its connection to metabolism

Sleep is the nutrition for the brain, and people need seven to nine hours of it every night. Getting less sleep than the adequate amount causes the body to react in unprecedented ways. Sleep deprivation triggers a cortisol spike, a stress hormone. This hormone signals the body to store energy for your waking hours, which means that you are more likely to hang on to fat.

Researchers concluded that for dieters who push their sleep duration back for over a 14-day period, the amount of weight they lost by fat decreased by a whopping 55%, even when their calories stayed equal. The participants also felt less satisfied and hungrier after their meals, with their energy dwindling.

Researchers from the University of Chicago say that sleep deprivation makes you metabolically groggy. The body’s ability to process insulin – a hormone necessary to metabolize starches, sugar, and other food to energy – decreases within just four days of insufficient sleep.

Research also showed that insulin sensitivity decreases by more than 30% due to sleep deprivation. That is undesirable because the body faces trouble processing and metabolizing fats from the bloodstream when it does not respond to insulin properly. Therefore, the body ends up storing the rest as fat, causing weight gain.

Is Sleep Related To Fitness Gains?

A lack of sleep can result in reduced energy for physical activity and exercise. Tiredness can also make exercising and sports less safe, especially activities requiring balance or weightlifting. Although researchers are working to understand the connection between sleep and physical activity, it is well established that exercise is crucial to managing overall health and weight loss.

Regular exercise is also known to improve sleep quality even more if the exercise involves natural light. Even a short nap before your sleep time can help boost the quality and duration of your sleep; more strenuous activity can have an even more dramatic impact. At least 75 minutes of high-intensity and 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week can reduce daytime sleepiness and improve daytime concentration.

Summing Up

Sleep is pivotal in maintaining sound health and promoting weight loss. One study concluded that insufficient sleep could increase the risk of obesity by 55% in adults and 89% in children. Certain other studies show that getting less than seven to eight hours of sleep can increase your risk of developing type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disorders.

It is important to note that not all sleep is equal: being well-rested is what matters. It is not only crucial to reach the required threshold of sleep, but also to get good quality sleep. Although this may not seem important, getting a good night’s sleep every day can make all the difference in your exercise and weight loss regime.

If you want to improve the quality and duration of your sleep and make a good night’s sleep your top priority, you can consult a sleep specialist at SleepRx. Head over to SleepRx to learn more, and book your appointment right now!


Kate Johnson is a content writer, who has worked for various websites and has a keen interest in Online Signals Report and Stock portfolio generator. She is also a college graduate who has a B.A in Journalism. Read More: Fin Scientists >> Read More: Stocks Signals Mobile App >> Read More: Crypto Signals >> Read More: Crypto Trade Signals App >> Read More: Trade Signal Buy and Sell

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