Weight Loss and Sleep


Weight loss: are you getting enough sleep?   It’s a serious question..Take a look at this:

It’s 2004 (6 December 2004) and the headline reads:

“Sleep loss, appetite and weight gain”

Did you see it?  The article goes on to confirm  that researchers at the University of Chicago  have found that partial sleep deprivation alters the circulating levels of the hormones that regulate hunger, causing an increase in appetite and a preference for calorie-dense, high-carbohydrate foods.

So this study (published in the 7 Dec. 2004 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine), gives us a mechanism linking sleep loss to the current epidemic of obesity.

In the experiment, research subjects (who slept only four hours a night for two nights) had an 18 percent decrease in leptin, the hormone that tells the brain there is no need for more food, and a 28 percent increase in ghrelin, the hormone that triggers hunger.

The study volunteers, all healthy young men, reported a 24 percent increase in appetite, with a surge in desire for sweets, such as candy and cookies, salty foods such as chips and nuts, and starchy foods such as bread and pasta.  Aha!

“This is the first study to show that sleep is a major regulator of these two hormones and to correlate the extent of the hormonal changes with the magnitude of the hunger change,” said Professor-Eve-Van-CauterEve Van Cauter, PhD, Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago. “It provides biochemical evidence connecting the trend toward chronic sleep curtailment to obesity and its consequences, including metabolic syndrome and diabetes.”

Need more convincing?  Take a look at this study on 5 and 6 year old children that concluded the prevalence of obesity was increased as sleep amount decreased, independently of other factors..Or this study of sleep deprived animals that showed a strong preference for a high- carbohydrate diet.  Scientists have known for years that lack of sleep can lead to weight gain and obesity: are you getting enough?

“Our modern industrial society seems to have forgotten the importance of sleep,” Van Cauter said. “We are all under pressure to perform, in school, at work, in social and professional settings, and tempted by multiple diversions. There is a sense that you can pack in more of life by skimping on sleep. But we are finding that people tend to replace reduced sleep with added calories, and that’s not a healthy trade.”

It could explain why so many of us who are chronically sleep-deprived also are overweight. And it could be part of the reason sleepy new parents, stay-up-late college students and shift workers pile on the pounds.

Sound familiar?  Does pressure of work and limited “down time” make you want to trade in your sleep time for more TV?  It’s a small change to your routine but the pay-off can be spectacular in terms of cravings and hunger..try it and see!

Weight loss and sleep, tell us how it’s working for you?  Sharing is fun!


About Paleo Works

Paleo Works Have you ever wondered how you arrived at “being overweight” and thought how difficult it is to get rid of and keep off those excess pounds? Hi, I’m Katie and together with Mike my husband, we are Paleo Works. As a busy working mum of four, I often watched others embark on weight loss progammes only to return to their start weight (and then some) shortly after reaching their target. Why was this happening? Conventional dietary wisdom would have us believe that it’s YOU who has failed. But Mike and I thought different. We felt that there had to be something wrong with that conventional dietary wisdom after all we can’t all be hopeless? So we studied intensely, sought out advice and read avidly. We questioned robustly and talked with many on various 'dieting' regimes. What we found was radical, our story has to be told, our knowledge has to be shared. So If you are ready to stop blaming your self for being overweight and ready to change your approach to weight loss then contact us and let’s get started!

Posted on February 9, 2012, in Sleep, Weight Loss and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. I really needed this article! Thanks for sharing! I always struggle with getting enough sleep. Thanks so much for this valuable information!

  2. Thanks for sharing this! I’ve definitely noticed a major difference in my eating patterns when I’m sleep deprived. This confirms that.

  3. This gels with my experiences as well…any time I don’t get enough sleep I always reach for the carbs and way to many of them….

  4. I’m not surprised by this at all. I had noticed that when I don’t get enough sleep, I’m hungry and munching all day. I assumed that my body was craving sugar and carbs as a kind of alternative energy source to help me power through the day, since I didn’t get the rest I needed to re-energize my body. It makes sense that it is a hormone issue.

  5. liftingwithlyme

    I love hearing people promote sleep!!! Personally, I believe that sleep is a huge help when trying to reduce bodyfat. In addition to the available science, my practical experience agrees 100%. As long as I’m training hard, the longer I sleep, the leaner I wake up. And, the better I feel throughout the day (including less hunger and carb cravings).

  6. LOVE IT!! I can hardly wait for the weekend to come so I can spend a good portion of it sifting through all of the VALUABLE information you have on your blog. Very interesting stuff!!

  7. TRYING to go to bed and wake just about the same time everyday has helped me. I take vitamin D in the morning and an hour prior to bed i wind down with only candle light. strict paleo has helped. Though i love red wine occasionally, i find that it actually interferes with my sleep.

  8. Reblogged this on My Glorified Journal and commented:
    A big problem area for myself is getting the proper amount of sleep. There is just so much to do in a day and not enough time. Looks like I’m going to have to work a bit harder at getting some quality sleep time!

  9. Reblogged this on From Gastric Band to Fitness and commented:
    Hmm, this is something that Martin keeps reminding me and the last time was with the addage ‘if you don’t get a minumum of 8 hrs sleep per night – NO TRAINING’. Makes sense especially when you read this excellent article. Enjoy!

  1. Pingback: Healthy Paleo Weight Loss | 7Wins.eu

  2. Pingback: SLEEP AND WEIGHT LOSS . . . there is a connection! « free2bme123

  3. Pingback: Sleep for Health | fitnesswellnesscoaches

  4. Pingback: Weight Loss and Sleep | Paleo Works | Scoop.it

Leave a comment if you liked this or not, your opinion is valued and used to improve our service.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: