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Do You Need More Sleep To Lose Weight?

"Will more sleep really help me lose weight?"

Late to bed and early to rise

woman sleeping
  • Life is busy
  • Too much to do.
  • And no time to do it.
  • You stay up late. And get up early.
  • There's no time to sleep...

Your body is tired

You're tired. You don't notice it all the time. But you're tired.

You don't get much time to yourself. You don't do too many things that are relaxing. And there are a lot of things to worry about.

So what suffers with all of this? Your weight.

Obesity linked to lack of sleep

A study of 636,095 women showed that women slept between 3 and 10 hours per night. Eight hours per night was most common.

Body mass index (BMI) was normal in the group that slept 7, 8 or 9 hours per night, but was in the overweight range for all other groups. As the sleep goes down the BMI goes up.

(Mortality Associated With Sleep Duration and Insomnia, Daniel F. Kripke, MD, Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2002;59:131-136)

"The dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. Hard work is the price we must pay for success. I think you can accomplish anything if you're willing to pay the price."

Vince Lombardi

Diabetes, thyroid and stress hormones

A medical study was done to see what happens when you don't get enough sleep. They took 11 healthy young men. They let them sleep only 4 hours a night for 6 nights. What did they find?

In only 6 nights they were becoming diabetic -- their glucose tolerance was lower. They had more evening cortisol -- cortisol is a major stress hormone. And their sympathetic nervous system -- the adrenaline "fight or flight" response -- went into overdrive. And it put stress on their thyroid. In just six nights.

O.K. So what does that tell you? It tells you that if you are diabetic -- under stress -- or overweight -- and you don't get enough sleep, then you need to do something about it.

(Impact of sleep debt on metabolic and endocrine function. Lancet. 1999; 354(9188):1435-9)

The stress response

If you don't sleep enough your body is not rested. It is under constant stress. You don't notice it necessarily -- because you adapt. You get used to it.

Sometimes the only way you can tell is when you finally do get enough sleep. And then you feel different -- you feel better than you usually do. But mostly you never notice the feeling.

But the lack of sleep causes the stress response in your body. It makes hormones to try to fight that stress.

Your adrenal glands pump out cortisol -- a stress hormone -- and adrenalin -- the "fight or flight" hormone constantly. Your body is trying to keep up the energy.

Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder and being overweight can be a contributing factor in many cases.

If you are overweight and have trouble sleeping, you should get more information about the causes of sleep apnea.

Cravings and appetite

It also affects your appetite. It causes food cravings. You crave something to give you more energy. Like Coke. And Snickers candy bars.

The companies know this. They even put it in their advertisements.

You feel hungry at night. That's why you eat junk food before you go to bed. Your body is trying to get the energy it needs to keep going.

Get on a schedule

So what do you do? Well, make time for a healthy life. Schedule your life so you can do the things you need to do to stay healthy.

Just like you schedule your meals and exercise, you need to schedule your sleep.

Give yourself at least 8 hours. You think you don't need that much? Well, you're overweight and struggling with it. This is one more part of that puzzle.

Improve results from exercise

If you are exercising and not seeing results, it might be that you don't get enough sleep.

The exercise is trying to build up the muscle. But when does the muscle rebuild? That's right. At night, when you are sleeping.

But if you don't sleep enough you don't give the muscles time to grow. Bodybuilders know this. That is why they "Lift big, eat big, sleep big."

Finding the time

Where do you get the time? Unless your are up late working on a cure for cancer or a solution for the world's economy, you have time. Turn off the TV.

Take a walk in the evening. Maybe play a game with the family. Read a book to relax a little.

Make your room comfortable for sleeping. If noises bother you the sound of a fan can block out the sounds.

And then go to sleep

It can make a great deal of difference with your weight. Your energy will improve. You will have fewer cravings for junk food. You won't be snacking so late at night.

You will feel more like exercising. You will be healthier overall.

Give it a try. You can do it. And it does make a difference.

"Sooner or later, those who win are those who think they can."

Richard Bach

Where to start:

There is a lot of information on this site. The links below will get you off to a good start.

Most popular pages:

These are some of our most popular pages. They are also some of the most helpful if you are finally ready to lose weight.

You can always reach us:

  • 28960 US Highway 19 North, Suite 115
  • Clearwater, FL 33761
  • (727) 771-8282

  • Or to use our contact form click here.

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