How Does Sleep Deprivation Lead to Weight Gain?|3 Things to Do For Better Sleep

Last Updated on February 2, 2023 by Dr Bucho

How Does Sleep Deprivation Lead to Weight Gain
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How Does Sleep Deprivation Lead to Weight Gain: Modern civilizations frequently experience sleep deprivation, and there is now compelling evidence linking this to the present obesity pandemic. Lack of sleep can result in weight gain, although the main cause seems to be increased food intake. Obesity risk has been associated with sleep deprivation. According to studies, those who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to put on weight and have a higher body mass index (BMI) than people who receive enough sleep.

Furthermore, in order to enhance the way obesity is treated, we need to comprehend the significance of getting enough sleep. Short sleepers may find it challenging to maintain a healthy lifestyle in the current environment, which encourages excessive food consumption and sedentary behaviors, given that behavioral sleep restriction appears to be linked to our modern way of life.

Things That Can Cause Sleep Deprivation

Serious health issues might result from persistent sleep loss. Lack of sleep can have a variety of detrimental repercussions on a person’s physical and mental well-being. Here are several factors that may make it challenging to get a restful night’s sleep.

Lack Of Daytime Light Exposure

The circadian rhythm, often known as the body’s sleep-wake cycle, is greatly influenced by sunlight. The timing of numerous physiological processes, including sleep, is controlled by the circadian rhythm, which is a biological clock found inside the body. An individual’s ability to fall asleep at night and wake up in the morning is facilitated by exposure to sunlight throughout the day, which also helps to synchronise the circadian cycle.

Air Pollution

The effects of air pollution on your heart and lungs are well documented. But did you realise that it also interferes with sleep? Yes, long-term exposure to high air pollution levels can make it challenging to get a decent night’s sleep, Researchers recently examined the relationship between obstructive sleep apnea and two prevalent air pollutants — a kind of fine particle pollution known as PM2.5 and nitrogen dioxide — in a study that was published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

Prolonged Screen Time

One of the drawbacks of technology is this. On computers, smartphones, and tablets, many of us spent hours looking at displays, which frequently interferes with sleep. Short-wavelength blue light from screens has been found to affect both the quantity and quality of sleep, according to research. Constant exposure to artificial light can throw off our circadian rhythms and lead to a variety of health problems.

How Much Sleep Do We Really Need? Let’s Know

Sleep recommendations issued by the National Sleep Foundation.

AgeRecommendation (hours/day)
Newborns (0-3 months)14-17 hours
Infants (4-11 months)12-15 hours
Toddlers (1-2 years)11-14 hours
Pre-schoolers (3-5 years)10-13 hours
School-aged children (6-13 years)9-11 hours
Adolescents (14-17 years)8-10 hours
Adults (18-64 years)7-9 hours
Older adults ((≥65 years)7-8 hours

Link Between Sleep Deprivation and Obesity

It is thought that sleep deprivation affects our hormones and behavior in the following ways:

  • Hormonal imbalance that controls hunger
  • Additional food consumption to combat Fatigue
  • a more sedentary way of life
  • lower amounts of blood sugar

Hormonal Imbalance

Sleep Deprivation causes the body to experience a hormonal imbalance that encourages overeating and weight gain. The hormones leptin and ghrelin control appetite, and when you don’t get enough sleep, your body produces less of these hormones, which makes you feel more hungry. Lack of sleep is connected to low levels of growth hormone and high levels of cortisol, both of which have been linked to obesity. Additionally, a lack of sleep might affect how your body processes food.

Consumption of food to reduce fatigue

This is hardly shocking given that eating triggers the release of orexin, a hormone that combats fatigue. Orexin is linked to reward-driven eating, a pattern in which people eat not to sate their hunger but rather to meet their emotional or psychological needs. It is thought that this leads to impulsive behavior, which heightens the propensity to consume more calories than is necessary. And this can contribute to weight gain and obesity.

Changes in metabolism

Lack of sleep can impact the body’s metabolism, increasing insulin resistance and decreasing glucose tolerance. This could raise the chance of getting type 2 diabetes, a condition linked to obesity.

How Can Someone Who Is Overweight Sleep Better?


In those with sleep disorders, exercise may enhance sleep quality. Additionally, it has been demonstrated to lessen symptoms in OSA patients without requiring weight loss. Additionally, doing out outside exposes you to natural light, which supports a regular sleep-wake cycle.

Comfortable Mattress 

Your mattress must allow for appropriate spinal alignment and even pressure distribution between your body and the mattress. Individuals have different preferences when it comes to mattresses. According to research, one’s body weight has an impact on the kind of mattress they may find most comfortable.

Healthy Foods

Diet and nutrition are also important aspects of good sleep hygiene, but they might be more difficult to maintain while you’re sleep deprived. Making efforts to keep a healthy diet may enhance sleep. For instance, studies show that eating a lot of carbohydrates may make it harder to fall asleep deeply. According to results of another study, eating within 30 to 60 minutes of night led to worse sleep patterns.

Frequently Asked Questions

how does obesity cause sleep problems?

Certain overweight persons have more soft tissue in their airways, which can cause issues like snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Obese people are more likely to experience insomnia

Are 6 hours of sleep enough?

Despite these patterns, the majority of researchers concur that most adults need more than six hours of sleep per night. Most individuals should get at least seven hours of sleep each night, according to experts.

Disclaimer: Please be aware that this material is being made solely for informational purposes. It makes no claims to be able to diagnose or treat any medical problem. Before making any changes, please speak with your doctor if you have any concerns about your health.

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