How Poor Sleep Affects Weight Loss

We all know how important sleep is to so many bodily processes, but if your training goal is to lose weight, then you might be surprised to learn that not getting enough good quality, regular sleep can seriously impede your ability to do so.

Poor sleep reduces fat loss

Continued lack of sleep can impact how your body deals with fat. Within just a few days of not getting enough sleep, your body's ability to properly use insulin (the master storage hormone that regulates metabolism) is disrupted. When your insulin is functioning properly, fat cells remove fatty acids and lipids from your bloodstream and stop it from being stored. When you become more insulin-resistant, fats (lipids) circulate in your blood and secrete more insulin, an excess which eventually causes it to get stored in the wrong places, such as your liver.

Poor sleep alters your judgement

When you’re sleep deprived, the chemicals that signal to your body that you’re full are thrown off balance, which means it’s harder to fight the urge to overindulge. Lack of sleep elevates stress levels, specifically cortisol levels and it’s this raised cortisol that directly impacts your ability to make rational decisions, including what to eat. On top of that, if you’re failing to get enough proper sleep, you may find it harder to get out of bed in the morning and stick to your training and diet regime full stop.

Poor sleep makes you hungrier

When you don’t get enough sleep, two chemicals in the brain, ghrelin which stimulates hunger and leptin which signals satiety, are thrown out of kilter. Reduced sleep is associated with decreases in leptin but increases in ghrelin, making it more likely that you’ll overindulge, and on high-fat, high-carb choices to boot.