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Sleeping Habits and Weight Gain : How Are They Connected?

Do you think that only exercising and controlling your diet can help you with weight loss? Though diet and exercise are important factors for controlling weight, something that is equally important is “Sleep”.

Good quality and duration of sleep are essential for maintaining a healthy weight. Poor sleeping habits can increase your weight drastically. Read on further to know how sleeping habits and weight gain are connected.

Sleeping Habits and Weight Gain: How Are They Connected?

How Lack Of Sleep Can Cause Weight Gain?

Proper sleep can benefit you attain a proper weight. Sleeping for less duration can contribute to weight gain. This might be because if you do not sleep well at night, you might feel hungrier the next day.

The Sleep Foundation has explained this as when we are sleep deprived there is an increased level of Ghrelin, a neurotransmitter, which makes us hungry and reduces the leptin levels, which makes us feel full. This can in turn cause an increased appetite and thus contribute to weight gain.(1) It has been found that there was an increased level of ghrelin and hunger feelings only after a night of sleep deprivation.

Studies That Show That Sleeping Habits And Weight Gain Are Connected

Studies That Show Poor Sleeping Habits Or Lack Of Sleep Is Linked With Weight Gain

Not getting proper and adequate sleep is linked with a higher BMI or Body Mass Index. Researchers who conducted a study that was published in the journal “JAMA Internal Medicine” used Fitbit wearable technology for collecting sleep data from more than 120, 000 individuals for continuous two years.(2) It was found that people who were included in the study and who had a BMI over 30, (which is considered the range of obesity) had a slightly shorter duration of sleep.(3) These findings support the notion that sleeping habits are associated with weight.

This was not only the study to suggest that there is a connection between poor sleep and weight gain. There is much other research that supports this fact.

Previous research included data from around 68, 000 participants and compared women who slept seven hours every night and those women who slept for five hours or even less. Surprisingly it was seen that those who slept less were 15% more likely to become obese.

Research supports that poor sleep can reduce your energy levels.(5) It was also mentioned by the researchers that low levels of energy and higher levels of sleepiness and fatigue restricted people from exercising.

Another study conducted in the past that followed a group of adults for consequent six years has found that those who slept between five to six hours every night were 35% more likely to experience a weight gain of 11 pound. However, those who slept between nine to ten hours, were 25% more likely to gain the same amount of weight (11 pounds) when compared with individuals who slept for seven to eight hours each night.(6) So, sleeping for too long is also associated with weight gain, which might be because when you spend more time in bed, you get less time to burn calories.

Studies That Tell Sufficient Quality Sleep Is Linked With Weight Loss

Many studies also support that sufficient quality sleep is linked with weight loss. Getting enough sleep might encourage you to go for healthier food choices during the daytime.

A small study found staying in bed for an additional 30 minutes can result in a reduced intake of fats, carbohydrates, and sugar during the daytime.(7) Moreover, getting an adequate amount of good-quality sleep offers daytime energy, improves memory, and motivation, and improves your overall health.

A randomized clinical trial conducted recently that involved young overweight adults have found that sleep for an extended duration (from 6.5 hours to 7.7 hours) a night has resulted in a reduced intake of calories (about 270 calories a day).(8)

Some Healthy Sleeping Habits You Must Follow

  • Shut down your cell phone, laptop, and Television at least one hour before you want to hit your bed.
  • Create a bedtime ritual, like a warm bath, meditation, or reading a good book.
  • Do not work in your bedroom. Keep it only for sleeping and relaxation.
  • Turn off the lights. Sleeping in the dark cues your body to release melatonin or a natural sleep hormone, but light suppresses it.
  • Strictly stick to the time you sleep and wake up. Follow it even on weekends.
  • Avoid consuming alcohol and heavy meals close to your sleep time. This might cause heartburn and you might find it hard to fall asleep.

Sleep Well To Live Well!

Practicing good sleeping habits keeps you in the positive track. Since sleeping habits and weight gain are connected, if you need to be in shape and want to have a healthy weight, then follow proper sleeping habits. Take the required amount of rest and sleep and attain the best of your body shape. Not just that, you can also achieve the best of your health and live pretty well.


Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:October 14, 2022

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