How Does Sleep Help to Boost Weight Loss?

Sleep is often overlooked when a person is trying to lose weight. Most people tend to focus on diet and exercise when it comes to weight loss. Surprisingly, sleep can directly impact your weight. Every time you are not asleep, your body cooks a perfect recipe for packing the extra pounds. Inadequate sleep can rob you the energy to exercise and lead you into temptations of making unhealthy food choices. It is estimated that nearly two-thirds of Americans don’t get enough sleep every week and experts concur that just like diet and exercise, adequate rest every night is also important for your health and weight. Here are various ways how sleep help to boost weight loss:

It Improves Calorie Burning

In reference to a research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was found out that people who got adequate sleep every night burnt more calories than those who had interrupted sleep. By getting enough sleep, your body ensures that you have more energy for a new day and also burns more calories, irrespective of whether you are exercising or not.

It Ensures Conscious Eating

You should never go shopping for food or groceries when on an empty stomach or exhausted. In reference to a research published in the journal Obesity, sleep-deprived men who went shopping for foodstuffs ended up buying nearly 1,300 more calories than their well-rested counterparts. Astonishingly, all the participants had already been served with standardized breakfast before the experiment. This means that hunger didn’t play any part in influencing sleep-deprived group to make unhealthy food choices.

It Prevents Late-Night Snacking

If you stay awake for a long time, chances are that you will get hungry before you sleep and you might reach out for a late-night snack. You will end up consuming more calories that your body doesn’t’ require leading to weight gain. In reference to a study at the University of Pennsylvania, sleep deprived participants who went snacking late at night gained about two pounds every week. This comes from the additional 550 calories that sleep-restricted participants consumed starting from 11 p.m. to 4 p.m. The well-rested participants slept from 11 p.m. to 8 a.m. If you must snack at night, it is recommendable to avoid foods that are rich in calories.

It Promotes Fat Loss

Studies have shown that people who consume same diet but have varied sleeping habits don’t lose weight equally. This is because of the fact that sleep influences how your body burns fat. In reference to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Chicago, well-rested people lost equal weight like their tired counterparts who were served with same number of calories over the same period. However, more than half of that weight was due to fat loss for the well-rested group, compared to only a quarter for sleep-deprived counterparts.

It Improves Portion Control

If you don’t get adequate sleep every night, you are more likely to go for larger portions per every sitting than people a well-rested person. This is evident from a Swedish study which involved well-rested and sleep-deprived participants. Subjects were requested to complete a computerized “ideal portion size” test where they were allowed to manipulate their portion size on a screen. It was found that sleep-deprived participants added 35 more calories in snacks to their digital “plate” than their well-rested counterparts.

It Improved Brain Function

What is your experience the next when you fail to get enough sleep? The grogginess feeling can impair your decisions when it comes to food selection. Over time, unhealthy food choices can compromise your weight goals through diet and exercise. In reference to a study at Harvard Medical School, brain scans showed that sleep-deprived people had a tendency to overeat than their well-rested counterparts. The scans revealed a reduced activation in a brain region that regulates inhibition and behavior control. Another study from Columbia University found that sleep-deprived participants have a tendency to seek resort in pleasurable behaviors like overindulging in sweets or sugary foodstuffs. In addition, unhealthy food activates a brain region that regulates pleasure, meaning that sleep deprivation can encourage calorie-rich diets.

It Suppresses Fat Genes

In reference to a study involving 1,000 sets of twins, it was found that siblings who slept fewer than seven hours every night had a tendency to weigh more  due to genetic factors. In addition, the siblings who slept for between seven and nine hours weighed less and were less likely to be affected by inherited traits of obesity. Researchers suggested that restful sleep plays significant roles in determining a person’s body weight irrespective of any genetic predisposition to being obese or overweight.


Sleep can help boost your weight loss in several ways that have been scientifically proven. Inadequate sleep has shown a strong connection with weight gain. While it is normal to sleep inadequately once in a while, ensuring that you get restful sleep every night can help you lose weight effectively. Contact your health care provider if you have sleep issues contributing to weight gain.


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