Lack of Sleep and Medical Weight Loss Questions and Answers
Read our Q and A page below for more information on how our clinic can help you with your sleep and weight loss. Call our clinic to speak with one of our weight loss specialists or request an appointment online. We serve patients from Bluffton SC, Columbia SC, Murrells Inlet SC, West Ashley SC, Mount Pleasant SC, Isle Of Palms SC, Daniel Island SC, Summerville SC, Pawleys Island SC, Hilton Head SC, Charleston SC, Kiawah SC, and surrounding cities.
Sleep has a significant impact on our overall health, especially when it comes to our weight. Both sleeping too little and sleeping too much can have adverse effects on our health. Sleeping too little causes us to feel hunger for longer, changes our hormonal balances that affect weight gain, and can cause other complications. On the other hand, sleeping for too long can cause a disruption in the body’s circadian rhythm, and can lead to fluctuations in blood sugar levels, depression, cause your metabolism to slow down, and increase your risk of diabetes.
How does lack of sleep affect your weight?
Poor sleep isn’t the only factor in weight gain; there are several, including your diet and exercise habits, your genetics, your levels of stress and how you cope with it, and your health conditions. However, the evidence does not lie: when sleep goes down, weight goes up.
And it doesn’t take a long time, or a lot of sleep deprivation, to bring the weight on. A study found that one week of sleeping about 5 hours a night led participants to gain an average of 2 pounds. You experience multiple changes to your body that can lead to weight gain when your body is lacking sleep. Changes to hormones that regulate hunger and appetite are caused by sleep deprivation. The hormone leptin suppresses appetite and encourages the body to expend energy. Sleep deprivation reduces leptin. The hormone ghrelin, on the other hand, triggers feelings of hunger—and ghrelin goes up when you’re short on sleep.
Creating more intense cravings for fat and sugar-laden foods, sleep deprivation changes what foods you’re most interested in eating. Low on sleep, your brain can’t make reasoned decisions and use its best judgment about food, and you’re more likely to be impulsive and give into junk-food desires.
We also know that even after a moderate amount of sleep deprivation, you’re likely to eat more the next day. On top of that, lack of sleep can lead to weight gain by making you more likely to eat more of your overall calories at night.
Does less sleep help you lose weight?
One explanation for unexplained weight loss may be that you are not getting enough sleep. However, this is usually only a possible explanation if your waking hours are filled with activities that burn calories. If you are highly active during most of your day without consuming extra calories and are in a new sleeping pattern of only a few hours each night, your unexpected weight loss could be due to sleeping less. However, sleeping less is more often associated with weight gain and not weight loss.
Can a bad sleep schedule cause weight gain?
Because insufficient sleep raises the levels of ghrelin, the hormone that tells you to eat, sleeping too little impacts your hormone levels in ways that can undermine the efforts of even the most determined dieters. This hormone plays a leading role when it comes to weight gain and loss.
The role ghrelin plays in the body is to boost your appetite, increase fat production, and make your body grow. All of these traits are fine when you are young and need to grow. However, as you get older, ghrelin’s effects can seem very undesirable. It is easy to understand why this hormone is the last thing someone trying to lose weight needs to have circulating in excess.
Lack of sleep also lowers levels of leptin, the hormone that determines fullness. Leptin has a circadian rhythm on its own: Levels of leptin are high during the night, which signals to your body that while you are asleep, you don’t need to eat. During the day, its levels drop, when you need to consume food as energy. So high leptin levels keep hunger at bay. In studies performed on mice, the small rodents lost weight because leptin made them eat less and exercise more. However, if you do not get enough sleep, your leptin levels plummet.
Does sleeping more increase weight?
To fight off the weight gain that can accompany under sleeping, oversleeping may seem like a good idea. However, it has been shown that sleeping in excess of 9 hours per night can be just as damaging to your sleep cycles and your weight as much as not getting enough sleep can.
People who oversleep experience a disruption in the body’s natural circadian rhythm (its 24 hour biological cycle). Because of this, people who oversleep can experience a number of side effects as their bodies struggle to align with the natural cycle. Oversleeping can lead to a host of health issues, including:
- Blood sugar fluctuations
- Cognitive impairment
- Higher body weight
- Increased inflammation
- Increased pain
- Impaired fertility
- Higher risk of obesity
- Higher risk of diabetes
- Higher risk of heart disease
- Higher risk of stroke
- Higher all-cause mortality
If you or someone you know is struggling to lose weight due to sleep, come to Metabolic Medical Centers today! Our kind and compassionate professionals are experienced in treating weight loss due to sleep abnormalities. For more information on how sleep can affect weight, call our office and get in touch with a member of our specialist team. To book an appointment with one of our weight loss specialists, visit our website or speak with us over the phone today.