How Does Sleep Affect Weight Loss? - Fitterfly
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November 2022
how does sleep affect weight loss

If you are trying to lose weight or manage your weight better, one of the main components that you are overlooking right now, or that you are not even aware of, is the amount and quality of your sleep. 

Getting adequate sleep can be one of the ways you could boost your overall weight loss journey.

In this article, we take a look at whether lack of sleep makes you lose weight or gain weight, what time in the day is the best to get sleep for weight loss, the number of hours of sleep for weight loss, and more.  

Sleep and weight loss

A study was performed on 80 adults, on the correlation between adequate sleep and reduction in calorie intake in people.

The results of the study showed that adults who were getting less sleep and those who managed to increase their sleeping hours at night to about 8 hours of sleep per night were successfully able to reduce their calorie intake, and this had a positive impact on their overall weight loss journey.

When you are trying to lose or manage weight, you must burn more calories than you consume. You can use the Fitterfly Wellness App to track your meals, exercise, and water intake. 

Can Lack of Sleep Cause Weight Gain or Weight Loss?

Over a period of time, researchers have established that those who do not get enough hours of sleep or sleep much less than the recommended eight hours of sleep per night have a direct and negative impact on their ability to control their appetite.

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Also, when you sleep less, it dulls the responses in your brain’s frontal lobe, which is responsible for your decision-making abilities and controlling impulses. 

As a result, they feel hungrier and sometimes even at odd hours leading to slow metabolism and consequentially increased weight. 

Over time, this can affect your appetite and increase your hunger pangs even after you’ve had all your meals.  In turn, this can increase your calorie intake, and cause an increase in your overall weight.

Is Afternoon Sleep Good or Bad for Weight Loss?

As of now, no evidence to prove whether or not it is a good idea to sleep or skip sleeping in the afternoon when it comes to managing sleep for weight loss.

However, one theory could be that if you do sleep in the afternoon, you may feel less sleepy and less tired at the night, and it could affect your overall sleep pattern at night, which could lead you to sleep less than the recommended seven to eight hours. 

Does Sleeping in Afternoon Increase Weight?

If you can, it is best to try and avoid sleeping in the afternoon so that you get adequate and good quality sleep at night.

A good night’s sleep goes a long way to help boost your metabolism.

How Does Sleep Help in Weight Loss?

Here is a look at how sleep for weight loss can work:

  • When you don’t sleep for the recommended hours each night, your body starts to get deprived of important rest time and goes into sleep deprivation mode.
  • When your body regularly feels deprived of sleep, it starts to see an increase in late-night snacking activity.
  • When we snack during the late night hours, we are often prone to reach out for high-carb and fatty foods than we would during the daytime.
  • Also, when we are constantly deprived of sleep, we tend to eat bigger portions of food which can directly impact the amount of weight that we gain.
  • Sleep provides our brain and body with the rest and recuperation it needs.
  • With too little sleep, there is a sharp increase in the amount of cortisol in the body.
  • Cortisol is also known as the stress hormone. It tells our bodies to store all the energy and use it for fuel during our waking hours. An increase in cortisol can impact your body’s ability to process fat and instead send it a signal to store it.
  • Low sleeping hours also affect our body’s ability to process insulin. As a result, it could lead to increased insulin resistance and a rise in blood sugar levels. 
  • Insulin resistance also affects your body’s ability to burn fat leading to an increase in weight. 

If you are not getting enough sleep at night but want to improve your sleep to boost weight loss, here are a few tips that could help:

  • Reduce screen time in any form at least one hour before you go to bed.
  • Avoid having heavy meals for dinner and go for lighter meal options such as warm soups, salads, roti dal, dal chawal, grilled vegetables or meats, and so on. Avoid having foods that could cause acidity, such as foods that are high in oil or fatty content, as this can cause disturbance in your sleep schedule.
  • Avoid having any caffeinated drinks in the evening or at night.
  • Make your bedroom a soothing space. If you have a work desk in your bedroom, shift it to another room, if possible.
  • Use dim lights in the bedroom.
  • Try and create bedtime habits, such as taking a warm bath, slipping into comfy sleepwear, fluffing the pillows, or anything else that will help you create a comfortable environment for sleep.
  • Keep a regular bedtime schedule and try and go to sleep and wake up at the same time each night, including the weekend. 
  • Don’t stress if you don’t fall asleep immediately. Give your body some time to relax. 

When you use sleep for weight loss in the right way, it can prove to be a helpful tool in your overall weight loss journey. Give it a few nights and stick to your bedtime routine to get the right amount and quality of sleep. 

FAQs

Best time to sleep to lose weight

There is no best time to sleep. What matters most is you get adequate hours of good-quality sleep. 

How many hours should I sleep to lose weight?

When trying to fix your sleep hygiene for weight loss, it is recommended that you sleep for at least seven to eight hours the night. 

 

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