Sleep and Weight loss. Here’s why it’s sleep is so important.

Discover the vital link between sleep and weight loss and learn how to prioritize sleep to support healthy living and weight loss management.


In the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle, many people forget about one of the most essential parts of their health: sleep. Sleep and weight loss are connected, and you may be surprised to find out that sleep is critical to maintaining a healthy weight and even vital for those who want to lose excess weight. 

In this article, we'll explore how sleep and weight loss are connected, including what happens to your body and your weight when you're sleep-deprived. We'll also explore why you need sleep to ensure you maintain a healthy weight and even achieve weight loss throughout your life. Let's explore the connection between sleep and weight loss.

What is the Connection Between Sleep and Weight Loss?

Contrary to popular belief, sleep is not just about getting enough rest; it is actually connected to many parts of our health. More importantly, the parts of our health that sleep is linked to remain critical in ensuring that we feel and look our best every single day.

Sleep is Connected to Your Metabolism and Hormones

Sleep is connected to our health, specifically our metabolism and hormones. Many studies have shown that sleep helps release certain critical hormones while you are resting, which is why people always try to get enough sleep every night. Without the right sleep, you experience symptoms that are unpleasant. 

When hormones are disrupted because of sleep loss, you struggle with feeling awake and well rested, even with maintaining your overall health. Disturbed sleeping patterns can wreak havoc on your hormones and metabolism, leading to food cravings, more hunger, and struggles with ensuring you eat healthy and avoid excess weight gain (Source: PubMed).

Your Metabolism and Hormones Affect Your Eating Habits

Food cravings caused by a lack of sleep are not accidental but logical because of how our sleep impacts our hunger and metabolic health. Sleep is connected to your metabolism, so when your sleeping patterns are disturbed, you may find yourself snacking more and having specific cravings.

Therefore, you're more likely to consume certain foods, continue to struggle with maintaining a healthy routine, and even feel as though you eat at abnormal times compared to when you were getting adequate sleep. Less sleep will lead to food cravings, which ultimately, especially if you eat more salty or sweet snacks, lead to more weight gain.

Losing Sleep Can Lead to Weight Gain

It's not just about snacking; losing sleep can also disrupt hormones and glucose maintenance, which is a vital process within the body. Maintaining adequate glucose and being able to process it in the body with enough rest and recovery is absolutely important for overall functionality.

If you think of your body like a machine, it needs downtime during the night to rest, process everything in your body, and create balance so you feel your best. Glucose is one of these substances that requires sleep to process and maintain, so if you find yourself losing sleep, you're more likely to have glucose intolerance and potentially be more at risk of becoming obese or gaining weight.

Why Gaining Weight Due to Poor Sleep is Worrisome

Increased Potential for Worse Conditions

Now that you understand some of the connections between sleep and weight loss and gain, you can understand why gaining weight due to poor sleep is problematic. When people lose sleep, they increase their potential for obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Many may even struggle with insomnia and excessive daytime sleepiness, which can't add any benefit to the continued problems that they may already be facing.

The less sleep that you ultimately get, the more unwell you'll feel and the more likely you are to gain weight. Sometimes, this has the potential to complete disrupt your entire circadian rhythm and metabolism, both of which are essential for you to see improvements in your overall health and even the maintenance of your weight (Source: PubMed).

Challenges with Overcoming Sleep Apnea

One of the major causes of poor sleep is sleep apnea, which can lead to disrupted sleep and, ultimately, many of the symptoms we've already discussed. Sleep apnea, if you struggle with it, can actually contribute to weight gain and become worse as you gain more weight, ultimately showing that with less sleep, there are more challenges to deal with (Source: American Thoracic Society). Sleep apnea is connected to a whole host of challenges, including cardiovascular diseases and other damaging conditions.

Inability to Truly Recover from Sleep Loss

While many believe you can simply catch up from lost sleep, it's not always that simple. Losing sleep and trying to catch up on the lost hours throughout the day can be helpful, but the damage may already be done. The best situation to put yourself in is to get adequate sleep so you do not struggle with weight loss.

This ensures that you're creating good habits in the first place. That's why the connection between sleep and weight loss is so critical: because ultimately, the better you sleep, the more likely your weight loss efforts are to be in the long run, as opposed to many of the challenges that we discussed in this article.

Prioritize Your Sleep to Support Healthy Living

Sleep and weight loss are deeply intertwined, especially considering that sleep is one of the most important processes for ensuring that your metabolism and hormones are in check. These are the two major contributing factors to whether or not you have adequate weight maintenance or struggle with weight gain and weight loss.

If you struggle with sleep and want to improve the quality of your nightly rest, try out Pillow today to monitor your sleep patterns and ensure that you're taking steps to ensure adequate rest. For more articles on sleep health, visit our website to learn how to ensure you always wake up feeling well-rested


Written by

Marie Soukup

Marie Soukup is a seasoned copywriter, editor, and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach with a certificate from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN). With years of experience working with brands across diverse industries, Marie is passionate about holistic health and crafting compelling content.

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