Could lack of sleep make us gain weight?

Do you know that tired feeling from not enough sleep?  I do! 

My brain says, “ OK if you aren’t going to give me sleep then give me food!  I want carbs and caffeine”.

Can you relate?

Our Great God wonderfully created our bodies to function best on 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. 

Lack of sleep eventually wrecks havoc with our hormones, our food choices, our appetite and even when we eat.

Lack of sleep changes our hormone levels,  which affects how much we eat.

Did you know we have hormones that are affected by lack of sleep which regulate hunger and appetite?

Ghrelin is the hormone that tells us we are hungry.  When we are sleep deprived we have more ghrelin.

Leptin is the hormone that suppresses our appetite.  When we are sleep deprived we have less leptin.

Too much ghrelin makes us hungry and too little leptin makes it easy to overeat.

So it’s not my imagination that after a night of bad sleep I want to eat.

Lack of sleep changes which foods we choose.

Our brains don’t function as well when we are sleep deprived.  The ability to make good judgments and decisions are blunted by lack of sleep.

That’s why it’s easy to give in to cravings for junk food, or foods high in fat and carbohydrates. 

One study found there was more activity in the deeper brain centers that respond to rewards.  So it’s not surprising that we reward ourselves with our favorite treat after bad sleep.

This same study found people rewarded themselves most often with burgers, pizza and doughnuts. 

My friend’s treat is potato chips.

Mine is coffee and something sweet.

Lack of sleep changes when we eat.

When we are sleep deprived it changes our internal clock.  If we are up until after midnight we extend our day.

One study found that sleep deprived participants ate lots of snacks after dinner.  High calorie and low nutrient snacks.

When our internal clock is messed up the alarm awakens us and our sleep deprived brains are not interested in breakfast.  So breakfast is often skipped.

So there are four more good reasons to make sleep a priority. 

“A good night’s sleep is vital to our physical health and emotional well being. That’s why the benefits of good sleep should never be underestimated and why getting a proper rest on a regular basis isn’t just a good idea, it’s an essential one.” sleep matters

In our crazy fast paced lives it’s easy to skimp on sleep.  But now we know good sleep is vital to our well-being.

Good sleep needs to be a priority.

Today’s little step:  Make sleep a priority.  Slow down in the evening.  Go to bed and get some sleep!

Sites used for research.

Remember every little step makes a difference!

If this has been helpful please share it with your friends.

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Come walk with me on the path of health and well being. Together we will navigate life. No diet. No program. Just real life struggles and successes! But believe this statement - Every little step makes a difference!

5 thoughts on “Could lack of sleep make us gain weight?

    1. I am glad you found my blog post on sleep deprivation and weight gain helpful. I appreciate you sharing it on your site as a reblog. I would be very interested in comments or feedback you get from your readers – perhaps you could share those with me? Thanks Dixie

    1. Thanks for the comment Toni. I’ve been trying to get more sleep this last month and I feel better! More energy and it’s easier to get up in the morning!

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