Can Sleep Loss Lead to Weight Gain?
Your body burns calories faster when you’re awake, but it doesn’t mean you’ll lose weight simply by staying up. In fact, the less sleep you get, the more likely you are to gain weight. Losing sleep can affect hormones that regulate hunger. This could be why you crave that midnight snack when you can’t sleep.
Here’s a quick rundown of why this happens: When you’re sleep-deprived, your body gets a little confused. It thinks you’re awake for a reason. Your body wants to make sure you have enough energy during this time. So it releases the hormone ghrelin, which tells your brain to eat for energy. During this time your body also cuts back on leptin, a hormone that tells your body to stop eating.
Studies also show that being sleep deprived may even change what kinds of foods you crave. Sleep-deprived people tend to crave high-fat, high-calorie foods over healthy snacks.
Between the hunger hormone and the cravings for junk food, losing sleep is a double whammy if you’re trying to lose weight. Keep your sleep routine on track, and you may find it easier to keep your weight goals on track