With the long hours of work, commuting, family commitments, social activities and household responsibilities it is no wonder we are becoming more and more sleep deprived, and living off caffeine.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 35 percent of people are sleep deprived- which is almost identical to the statistic for obesity.   Connect the dots and you will see that the connection is no coincidence.

Our body needs 7 or more hours of sleep each night.  A study that was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine discovered that those bodies who received adequate rest experienced a 50% reduction in fat loss than the sleep deprived.


Sleep for Weight Loss…Why?

  1. When you are sleep deprived, motivation and energy decreases
  2. Willingness to participate in exercise at your best potential diminishes when sleep deprived
  3. Hunger hormones start raging when sleep deprived
  4. Insulin metabolism becomes impaired when sleep deprived


What does this all really mean?

Scientists from Brazil found that lack of good sleep decreases your body’s ability to make muscle, causes muscle loss, and can lead to a higher rate of injury.  Muscle increases the body’s metabolism, and if this is jeopardised through lack of sleep, then it is safe to say that sleep deprivation is the enemy of the muscle!

Within 96 hours of sleep deprivation the body’s insulin hormone becomes disrupted – the University of Chicago found that insulin sensitivity decreased by more than 30 percent.  Insulin is responsible for removing fat from the bloodstream and prevents it from being stored within the body.  When the body becomes insulin resistant, fat starts being stored in the liver and other tissues which can increase the prognosis of diabetes.

Hunger hormones are controlled by leptin and ghrelin.  Leptin is produced in fat cells and when you dont have enough, the brain thinks it is still hungry.   When you produce more ghrelin you stimulate hunger while also reducing the amount of calories you burn, consequently increasing the amount fat you store. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinoloy and Metabolism found that sleeping less than six hours triggers the area of your brain that increases your need for food while also depressing leptin and stimulating ghrelin.


In Summary, poor sleep equals hormonal disruption which impedes muscle growth and repair, altering hunger hormones and fat storage.  So – get napping!


Suggestions for a good night sleep

  • Create a bedtime schedule and try to go to sleep at the same time each day
  • Watch what you eat prior bed – soda, tea, coffee and chocolate can stay in your system for up to 5-6 hours which may disrupt sleeping cycles
  • Remove technology from the bedroom and keep the lighting dark to minimal – darkness cues the body to release natural sleep hormone melatonin.