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Weight Loss

From the effects of the hormone cortisol to the role of genetics in weight loss, this category is packed with everything that you need to know about losing weight the healthy way.

4 Hidden Ways Lack of Sleep Can Lead to Weight Gain

As sleep deprivation is far too common in this fast-paced society we live in, explore the hidden ways lack of sleep can lead to weight gain and learn how to sleep your way to health.


Increasing the efforts to eat well-balanced meals and exercise but not seeing results? 

There may be one key component hindering weight loss… Sleep deprivation! Lack of sleep and weight gain has become far too common in this fast-paced society we live in. 

Explore the hidden ways lack of sleep can lead to weight gain and sleep your way to health once and for all with quick tips!

4 Ways Lack of Sleep Can Lead to Weight Gain

1. Increased Levels of Cortisol

When it comes to sleep deprivation and weight gain, cortisol may be a primary culprit. 

Cortisol and sleep have shown to have an inverse relationship – when sleep is low, cortisol levels may be high.

Elevated cortisol levels can increase appetite and exploit unhealthy food choices.

2. Imbalanced Hunger Hormones

Inadequate sleep can cause the hunger hormones to go haywire. Also known as leptin and ghrelin, leptin helps to signal satiety while ghrelin signals a hunger response. 

When tired, leptin levels may reduce while ghrelin levels may rise, ultimately reducing the feeling of fullness and stimulating ravenous cravings.

3. Reduced Metabolism

Metabolism is the totality of all chemical reactions in the body that uses and burns energy (or calories) as fuel – a slow metabolism may cause weight gain while a fast metabolism may facilitate weight loss. 

Though there are many factors that dictate metabolism's speed, sleep is one of them. Sleep deprivation can slow down metabolism and eventually cause weight gain if sleep is consistently inadequate.

4. Lessened Energy

When the body is tired, numerous daily functions may be compromised. 

That daily workout more than likely seems daunting with reduced energy levels. And preparing and cooking a nutritious meal? Running through a quick, convenient drive thru or ordering takeout probably may seem like best alternative at the time. 

Truly, the combination of reduced workouts and healthful meals can ignite calorie accumulation and contribute weight gain.

Quick Tips for Sleep and Weight Loss

With good practices, sleep and weight loss can occur. But if you find yourself unable to sleep, these quick tips can avoid the phenomenon on sleep deprivation and weight gain:

Limit Caffeine Intake

That afternoon caffeine "pick-me-up" can ultimately impede on sleep cycles. Try limiting caffeine intake to morning hours and reduce the intake of hidden caffeine sources including chocolate.

Avoid Large Portions Before Bedtime

Try to consume dinners at least four to five hours prior to bedtime. Doing so can facilitate efficient food breakdown and reduce unpleasant indigestion symptoms when lying down.

Reach for Water

Thirst is oftentimes mistaken for hunger. So instead of reaching for food, pour yourself a glass of water. Additionally, a warm cup of decaffeinated tea can initiate a soothing, relaxing sensation and cultivate a resting environment. (Just be sure to not drink too much, as you want to avoid bathroom wake up calls throughout the night!)

Midnight Snacking

If truly wanting or desiring a snack, try these healthy midnight snack ideas to cure your hunger!

Written By Sydney Lappe, MS, RDN. Published on September 09, 2016. Updated on May 06, 2019.


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