Can Loss of Sleep Make Me Obese?

One of the things necessary for the body to function is sleep — it lets our body and mind rest so that we may wake up feeling energized and focused. Most individuals require seven to nine hours of night sleep for healthy cognitive and behavioral functioning.

According to several researches, sleep deprivation makes individuals more prone to distractions, poor cognition, slow reactions, and mood changes.

Moreover, an increased risk for several diseases and medical complications, including obesity, has been associated with sleep loss.

Generally, what we know about our weight is that our diet and physical activity level influence it.

However, there are some studies indicating that poor sleep or loss of sleep may have a role in weight gain and/or loss. According to Beccuti and Pannain (2011), sleep loss is one of the risk factors for obesity.

Losing sleep causes the body to experience a hormonal imbalance that stimulates overeating and therefore, weight gain.

The hormones leptin and ghrelin suppress appetite, and when we don’t get enough sleep, our body produces less of these hormones, which makes us feel more hungry.

Lack of sleep is connected to low levels of growth hormone and high levels of cortisol, both of which are related to obesity. Furthermore, a lack of sleep might affect how your body processes food.

However, alterations at the molecular level are only one aspect of how sleep deprivation affects weight.

Studies show that people with insufficient sleep are more prone to select calorie-dense foods.

The likelihood of weight gain increases when calories are consumed late at night.

Also, individuals who don’t get enough sleep exercise less compared to those who do, presumably because sleep deprivation makes them tired and sleepy during the day.

Setting a regular sleep schedule, establishing a nighttime ritual, and practicing a healthier lifestyle like having a balanced and adequate diet, and regular exercise during the day are all kinds of practices that help in getting a good night’s sleep.

These habits can be quite important to our health, especially for individuals who are overweight or obese and struggles getting some good night sleep. ( via NNC)