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Can You Lose Weight By Sleeping?

By Elisa - Jenny Craig

When it comes to weight loss, you may think you're doing everything right. But despite your best attempts, nothing seems to be changing, and reaching your goal is starting to feel like an elusive dream. You are not alone.


In our sleep-deprived society, weight gain appears to be more the norm rather than the exception, as more than two out of three Americans are considered overweight or obese.1 This is because sleep and weight loss are intricately tied to many different hormonal and metabolic processes.  The amount of sleep you get impacts those processes and how your metabolism functions.

Individuals who are sleep deprived, or who suffer from sleep disorders, can experience a misalignment in their circadian rhythm.2 Circadian rhythm is your 24-hour internal clock that controls your cycle of sleep and wakefulness.


shutterstock_NotEnoughSleep.jpgWhen your circadian rhythm is out of whack, and you are low on sleep, metabolic processes inside your body can be disrupted. This is because during sleep, all your cells undergo a critical process of regeneration, and your hormonal systems take that time to regroup.3 If you skimp on rest, your cells don’t have the time they need to recover and your hormones can go askew. 


Hormones are important when it comes to regulating your appetite and hunger cues, and they are a vital component in helping you stay on track during your weight loss efforts. Furthermore, sleep provides an essential period for your mind and body to recover from busy days and the challenges that come with them. Disrupted metabolic processes can lead to weight gain4 instead of weight loss, despite eating healthy and exercising.


But how does sleep affect weight loss? There are a multitude of different studies which have shown that a good night’s sleep may help you:

Burn More Calories Through the Day

Making sure you get your beauty sleep can serve a much higher purpose than erasing those bags under your eyes. When you’re well-rested, you burn more calories when you're not moving than someone who is sleep deprived.5 Not only can you burn more calories when you’re sedentary, but you may also burn more calories than your exhausted friends after eating a meal. Making sure to get enough sleep can ramp up your energy and calorie burning abilities.

Lose More Stored Fat

Some studies have shown that people may have different weight loss results, even when they are consuming the same number of calories, depending on their amount of sleep. Those who get 8.5 hours of sleep per night appear to drop more fat than their tired and sleepy counterparts.6

Eat Less Food Overall

The more time you spend sleeping, the less time you'll spend doing other things, like eating. One study showed that men who slept 4 hours compared to men who slept 8 hours consumed 500 more calories each day.7

shutterstock_MindlessSnacking.jpgStop Mindlessly Munching

When you don’t hit the hay for long enough, your body can't adequately control the production of leptin and ghrelin in your body, which are two hormones that help you manage hunger.


When you're suffering from a lack of sleep, the levels of cortisol in your body rise due to stress associated with being tired, which can lead to weight gain.8 If there are high levels of ghrelin and cortisol running through your body, it can shut down the satiation centers of your brain, leaving you feeling ravenous and prompting you to crave foods you shouldn't eat.


Additionally, your complex decision-making center of the brain may be impaired, so that all those cravings you're feeling in the moment, suddenly seem like a great decision. You may be tempted to chow down on unhealthy foods in larger quantities, at times you usually wouldn’t eat, and end up regretting it later.

shutterstock_Exercise2_SleepArticle.jpgExercise More Often

Does lacing up your tennis shoes sound like a good idea when you can barely keep your eyes open?  Your workout routine may slide to the wayside when you’re tired. Sleep is also critical in helping your muscles repair themselves after a tough workout. (This is why athletes stress the importance of a good night's sleep). If you want to improve your athletic and fitness performance, be sure to get plenty of Z’s.

When it comes to sleep and weight loss, take your rest seriously. Those 8 to 10 hours a night make a world of difference when it comes to your health, fitness, clarity, and mood. However, getting more sleep is often easier said than done. Use these sleep tips to help you unplug and catch more Z’s. 


Are you ready to start losing weight and sleeping better? Contact us for your free appointment today and see how Jenny Craig can work for you.













Edited by Elisa - Jenny Craig

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Guest Patti Babey


Thank you for a great article!  I had no idea that lack of sleep had such a significant effect on 

weight loss.

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Elisa - Jenny Craig


On 7/11/2018 at 2:32 PM, Guest Patti Babey said:

Thank you for a great article!  I had no idea that lack of sleep had such a significant effect on 

weight loss.


Hi Patti,


We're glad you enjoyed the article and found it insightful!

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