How Does Sleep Affect Weight Loss?

feet on scale measuring how sleep can affect weight loss

It can be difficult to lose weight, and keeping the weight off after you’ve lost it can prove to be a challenge, as well. Did you realize that the amount of sleep you’re getting may have a profound impact on your weight loss journey? While more connections are being studied every day, professionals agree that there’s a correlation between sleep and weight loss success.

How does sleep affect weight loss, you ask? Today, we’re taking a look at why sleep is important for weight loss as well as a few simple lifestyle adjustments that can help you get the sleep you need.

The Connection Between Sleep and Weight Loss

Whether you’re trying to lose weight or maintain the weight you are, the amount of sleep you’re getting could be just as important as diet and exercise. Unfortunately, statistics show that over 35% of adults in the United States don’t get the recommended hours of sleep each night. From seasonal sleeping disorders like summer insomnia to the fact we’re simply staying busier now than ever and juggling packed schedules, it’s not hard to see how getting a good night’s sleep can easily go by the wayside.

How does sleep affect weight loss and maintenance, however? Some of the ways experts have observed a correlation between sleep and weight loss include factors such as:

  • Short sleep promotes weight gain
  • Affecting your appetite
  • Influencing your metabolism
  • Enhancing physical activity to aid weight loss

Short Sleep Duration and Weight Gain

Starting off on our journey to answer the question, “why is sleep important for weight loss?” let’s discuss “short sleep.” The term “short sleep” typically refers to sleep lasting less than an average of 6 or 7 hours. An analysis of over 20 studies involving more than 300,000 adults showed a 41% increased risk of obesity in adults who slept fewer than 7 hours each night. Conversely, the study also showed that adults sleeping the recommended 7 to 9 hours each night did not exhibit sleep as a factor in obesity.

Other studies have shown that short sleep durations led to increased risk of obesity amongst younger age groups, as well. These age groups consisted of:

  • Early childhood showing a 57% increased risk
  • Middle childhood showing a 123% increased risk
  • Adolescence showing a 30% increased risk

These studies all show how sleep can affect weight loss and makes it clear that people of all ages should be prioritizing quality sleep habits.

Lack of Sleep, Increased Appetite

Continuing on as we answer the question, “how does sleep affect weight loss?” we’re talking about your appetite. Studies have shown that people experiencing sleep deprivation tend to have higher daily caloric intakes and increased appetites. This is likely due to the body’s need for energy throughout the day as it struggles from a lack of sleep.

Other complications relating to lack of sleep and appetite are the choices you make while sleep deprived. When we’re tired, we’re more likely to experience cravings for sweet and sugary things like chocolate to give us the kick we need to keep going. It may also manifest with that second sugary mocha latte you pick up during lunch to make it through the rest of your day. Before you know it, you may be making poor dietary choices more often than you think, resulting in weight gain or, at minimum, preventing weight loss.

Lack of Sleep Slows Metabolism

Next on our list as we answer the question, “how does sleep affect weight loss?” we’ve arrived at your metabolism. As part of the negative cycle of sleep deprivation, not only might you be making poor food choices but a lack of sleep slows metabolism, too. Metabolism is influenced by many factors including:

  • Age
  • Weight
  • Height
  • Sex

Did you know it’s also heavily influenced by how much sleep you’re getting? One prevalent study took baseline readings of participants’ resting metabolic rate (RMR) then compared a control group to a sleep-restricted group for 5 days. The sleep-restricted group showed a significant drop in RMR while the control group showed no change.

Because your RMR is the number of calories your body burns when at rest, this study empirically answers the question, “why is sleep important for weight loss?” Fewer calories burned means slower weight loss (or negated all together).

Sleep Improves Physical Activity

Last up on our list as we explore how sleep can affect weight loss comes how it impacts your physical activity and productivity. Simply put, Sleep and physical activity have a close two-way relationship. Getting enough sleep can lead to increased physical performance. Physical activity, in the perfect example of a positive cycle, has been shown to help decrease the amount of time it takes people to fall asleep and helps them stay asleep through the night.

Conversely, however, a lack of sleep can easily lead to daytime fatigue, poor physical endurance, and the tendency to lean into a more sedentary lifestyle that results in an increased risk for weight gain or other health complications.

Getting Enough Sleep for Weight Loss Success

Now that you’ve gotten an answer to the question, “how does sleep affect weight loss?” let’s talk about ways you can improve your sleep quality and stay on track for your goals! Simple lifestyle adjustments can make a huge positive impact for people of any age, sex, and physical condition.

For example, keeping a consistent sleep/wake schedule can make a world of difference in how you feel as well as help you on your weight loss journey. Try waking up at the same time each morning and going to bed at the same time each night. We are, by nature, creatures of habit and this small change can help train your mind and body to know when it’s time to start winding down for the evening and have you wake up feeling rested each morning.

You can also find ways to relax to improve sleep quality and keep your weight loss journey on track. Many people have turned to the potential health benefits of zero gravity chairs. These aspects extend well beyond the health benefits of zero gravity chairs for back pain and may help increase blood circulation, help the body heal itself faster, and deepen your relaxation to get you ready for a good night’s sleep.

For those who struggle sleeping flat in bed, the zero gravity position may also provide an effective way to sleep better in a recliner. The addition of bonus features like heat therapy and massage functions simply add to the experience, making them the chair you’ll wonder how you ever lived without.

Last, but not least, making sure you get enough physical activity is also key to improving sleep quality and aiding weight loss. Whether you’re exercising in the gym or doing full body workout exercises from the comfort of home, experts recommend getting at least 30 minutes of activity 5 days each week. Not only will it help you burn calories while you’re active, but it can lead to increased metabolism and other factors that help with weight loss even between physical activities, including better sleep quality.

Now that we’ve answered the question, “how does sleep affect weight loss?” and you’ve learned ways to adjust your daily routine to aid your weight loss, you’re ready to go! Before you start any weight loss journey, however, be sure to consult your doctor to discuss a plan for healthy weight loss goals. Once you’ve got the green light, make sure you remember the importance of prioritizing sleep habits to bolster your results.

Curious about the best luxury zero gravity chair on the market? Check out the Svago Swivel Zero Gravity Recliner and see how it offers style, comfort, and a plethora of potential health benefits!