Does Sleep Quality Affect Weight Loss?
Does Quality of Sleep Affect Your Weight Loss? In short, yes: sleeping well helps you lose weight, big time! In 2015, a study, funded by Diabetes UK and UK National Institute of Health Research, concluded that losing out on just 30 minutes of sleep per night can cause people to experience weight gain. Additionally, a more shocking, and unexpected consequence, was the potential metabolic changes, such as insulin resistance.
Does Quality of Sleep Affect your Weight Loss?
Why does insulin resistance matter? Insulin resistance allows sugar to build up in the blood, instead of being absorbed by the cells. This can result in the person developing prediabetes, or even type 2 diabetes eventually. After 12 months, for every 30 minutes of weekday sleep deficit, the risk of obesity increased by 17%, and the risk of insulin resistance increased by a staggering 39%. You may be interested to read our blog about how you can reverse type 2 diabetes.
Also, in 2022, researchers at the Mayo Clinic, in Minnesota, conducted a study, and published their findings in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. It was no great surprise that the group of people who were only allowed to sleep for 4 hours per night consumed more calories than the control group. However, the greatest discovery was that they had gained a substantial amount of dangerous abdominal, or visceral fat, around their organs, during the study period.
Will sleeping help me lose weight?
Lead researcher, Dr Vinred Somers, stated: ‘Normally, fat is preferentially deposited subcutaneously or under the skin. However, the inadequate sleep appears to redirect fat to the more dangerous visceral compartment. So, in the long term, these findings implicate inadequate sleep as a contributor to the epidemics of obesity, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.’
We Spend 30% of Our Lives Asleep!
When you’re sleeping your whole body, including the brain, has a chance to generally rejuvenate itself. However, according to the NHS, one in three of us suffers from lack of sleep. But, unfortunately, sleep deprivation causes a spike in the stress hormone, cortisol, which in turn increases your appetite. Additionally, when you’re feeling stressed, your body craves more carbohydrates.
Does Sleep Quality Affect Weight Loss?
Willpower restores itself during sleep
Many believe that willpower is like a hormone, so its reserves dwindle as the day goes on. And only sleep can replenish it. Research shows that people trying to stop smoking, or to lose weight, as an example, normally cave in during the evening, around 8.00pm. This is when their level of the willpower hormone has been expended.
Lack of Sleep Increases Cravings for Carb-Rich Foods
Evidence supports the fact that lack of sleep causes people to consume more food, and crave predominantly energy-dense, high-carbohydrate snacks. All carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, which is then absorbed into the bloodstream, raising your blood sugar. Whenever you’re not eating, (while you’re sleeping, for instance), your body will burn the sugar for energy first of all, and when the sugar supply runs out, it will start burning your fat stores. So, yes you can, in a way, lose weight while you sleep.
Try Not To Eat Late At night
It’s a fact that insufficient, or fragmented, sleep causes people to overeat. Also, the double-edged sword situation is that unfortunately, overeating can affect the quality of sleep! The digestive system slows down during sleep, so if you eat late at night, your body uses a lot of energy for several hours afterwards to digest that food, which makes it harder for you to relax and fall asleep. Sleep more and lose weight…
A recent study by Columbia University in New York, published in the Annual Review of Nutrition journal, found that a diet that includes plenty of fruit, veg and legumes, promotes better quality sleep. In contrast, people who consume high quantities of added sugar experience poorer quality sleep, and less deep sleep overall. Also, of course, they are more likely to be overweight than those who keep their sugar intake to a minimum. You maybe interested in a page around the research into sleep and weight loss here
Does Quality of Sleep Affect your Weight Loss?
A recent study by a team from the University of Chicago’s sleep centre showed some very interesting results. The Daily Mail and the Telegraph reported the findings, which were published in JAMA Internal Medicine. Will sleeping help me lose weight? The researchers, led by Dr. Esra Tasali, conducted a clinical trial with 80 overweight people, who usually slept for less than 6.5 hours per night. After half of the participants had sleep counselling, they slept for more than 1 hour longer each night. But the biggest surprise was that they also consumed 270 fewer calories per day than the control group!
Five Tips to lose weight whilst you sleep.
1. Limit Alcohol
Alcohol disrupts your quality of sleep in a number of ways. Excessive alcohol results in you not achieving enough REM sleep, which is vital for restoring brain function, creating memories, promoting learning and improving general health and well-being. This is why you can go to bed after a heavy drinking session, wake in the morning, after maybe 10 hours, and feel just as tired as when you went to bed! Alcohol and a perfect night’s sleep do not mix at any level.
2. No Netflix Bingeing!
Binge-watching TV into the early hours does not really help with your sleeping. Late night viewing can awaken and sharpen your senses, rather than slow them down. It is better to lay in bed and read a book, with the lighting set low. Or maybe treat yourself to a soak in the bath with some scented candles to help you prepare to drift off to sleep. Does Quality of Sleep Affect Your Weight Loss? Yes!
3. Stay Away from Late Night Snacking
Snacking in the evenings is never a good idea, especially if you are trying to lose weight. Why not try to resist eating anything after 8.00pm until your breakfast? This unintentional ‘Fast’ of around twelve hours will deliver two benefits. Firstly, it will aid your weight loss directly. And secondly, it ensures that you achieve a much more restful and beneficial level of sleep. Will sleeping help you lose weight? Definitely! While you’re sleeping, you’re fasting, so leave the pizza until tomorrow!
4. Sleep, Sex, Rest and Relaxation
Your Bedroom should be a sanctuary, your special place reserved exclusively for Sleep, Sex, Rest and Relaxation. Low level lighting is best. This will be detected by the Pineal gland, which senses low light releasing melatonin (it makes you sleepy). Also make sure the bedroom is at a comfortable, cool temperature.
5. Stick to a Regular Sleep Pattern
You should establish a regular sleep pattern, going to bed at a set time each evening. You should strive to get close as close as possible to the recommended eight hours sleep per night. Research has shown that the best quality sleep takes place between 10.00pm and 4.00am. This of course is in line with research around the circadian rhythm. Will sleeping help me lose weight?
ANSWER: Yes, getting enough quality sleep can significantly aid weight-loss efforts. Sleep plays a crucial role in regulating hormones that control appetite and metabolism. When you’re well-rested, you’re more likely to make healthier food choices and have the energy for regular physical activity.
ANSWER: While individual sleep needs can vary, most adults benefit from getting around 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night. This duration helps optimise hormone regulation, curb cravings, and improve overall well-being, which can contribute to weight-loss success.
ANSWER: To improve sleep quality, establish a regular sleep schedule, create a comfortable sleep environment (cool, dark, and quiet), avoid late-night meals and caffeine, manage stress through relaxation techniques, and limit screen time before bed. Practising good sleep hygiene can help you achieve restorative sleep.
ANSWER: Yes, eating late at night, especially heavy or high-calorie meals, can hinder weight loss. Your body’s metabolism naturally slows down during sleep, so consuming a large meal before bedtime can interfere with digestion and potentially lead to weight gain.
ANSWER: Yes, poor sleep quality can lead to weight gain through various mechanisms. It can disrupt hormones that control appetite and metabolism, increase stress levels and cortisol production, reduce energy expenditure, and negatively impact willpower and decision-making, all of which can contribute to weight gain over time.
ANSWER: Yes, sleep deprivation is associated with various health risks beyond weight gain. It can increase the risk of chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and compromised immune function. Prioritising good sleep habits is essential for overall health and well-being.
Remember that individual responses to sleep and weight loss can vary, so it’s essential to pay attention to your own sleep patterns and how they affect your weight management goals. If you have specific concerns or ongoing sleep issues, consider consulting with a healthcare professional or sleep specialist for personalised guidance.
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Marion Shirran, as a director of Oxford Therapeutics Limited, is proud to be a registered Stakeholder in NICE – National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Additionally, she is involved in the government’s All Party Parliamentary Group on Obesity.
We were proud to be nominated the ‘Most Innovative Obesity Psychological Therapy Service’ in the UK Mental Health Awards 2022
We also appeared on the This Morning TV show, with Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield
And, in 2010, we travelled to New York to be interviewed on the Good Morning America TV Show
We are also co-authors of two, bestselling books, on the topic of non-surgical weight loss, published by Hay House.
Visit the My Weigh Less home page to read more about the non-surgical, weight-loss programme. You can also read details about the global media coverage. There’s more information about Martin and Marion on the Gastric Mind Band website.
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Although the weight-loss results and success stories shown on the site are typical, individual results will vary, and are not guaranteed. Weight-loss success depends on each individual’s level of motivation, commitment, food intake and metabolism. Read our full disclaimer in the Terms & Conditions.