Sleep Deprivation: Effects on Weight Loss and Weight Loss Maintenance

Sleep is a basic human requirement, as it is as important for mental and physical functioning as breathing, eating, and drinking. Getting enough sleep and good quality sleep is critical to maintaining your health and wellness.

Many people, unfortunately, do not get enough sleep. Sleep becomes a low priority in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Although adults require seven to eight hours of sleep per night (1), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCD) reports that approximately one in every three adults in the United States does not get enough sleep. Furthermore, 40% of people fall asleep during the day at least once per month (2).

Sleep deprivation occurs when you do not get enough sleep each night. Sleep deprivation can be harmful to your health, affecting things like mood and ability to function throughout the day. This article will look at the negative effects of chronic sleep disorders and how to mitigate them.

Physical Fitness

Sleep deprivation can have far-reaching physical consequences throughout your body. Numerous studies have been conducted to investigate its impact, with the conclusion that sleep deprivation can have an impact on your nervous, cardiovascular, endocrine, and immune systems. Not getting enough sleep, in particular, can contribute to:

  • High blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Large studies show that a lack of sleep is linked to heart attacks and strokes. Individuals who slept for less than five hours had a 45 percent increased risk of having a heart attack.
  • Diabetes and hyperglycemia. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and other sleep-related disorders can increase your risk of developing diabetes, glucose intolerance, and insulin resistance.
  • Obesity. There is a link between the amount of sleep you get and the prevalence of obesity. This will be covered further in the article.
  • Use of alcoholic beverages. Insomnia can contribute to alcoholism, and alcoholism can contribute to insomnia (1).

Mental Wellness

Sleep deprivation is strongly linked to the development of mental illness. Insomnia is a risk factor for depression because it makes it difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep, and get good quality sleep. In fact, 15 to 20% of people who suffer from insomnia also suffer from major depression.

Insomnia is also a risk factor for other psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety, substance abuse, and nicotine addiction. According to one study, insomnia increases the risk of developing panic disorder by a factor of five (1).

Sleep deprivation, in addition to causing mood disorders, can also have a negative impact on cognition. When you are sleep deprived, it is more difficult to maintain focus and attention. Furthermore, both your short-term and long-term memory are impaired. It may also be difficult to make decisions (3).

Weight Loss

Weight gain is one of the many physical consequences of sleep deprivation. While diet and exercise are important factors in losing and maintaining a healthy weight, sleep can also play an important role. This phenomenon is the subject of several hypotheses.

The amount of sleep you get can influence your appetite, which in turn influences how much food you eat and how much weight you gain. Sleep deprivation disrupts the body’s production of ghrelin and leptin, two hormones that regulate appetite. According to one study, men who slept for four hours had lower leptin levels and higher ghrelin levels than men who slept for ten hours. These differences in neurotransmitters can contribute to increased appetite and decreased feelings of satiety.

Sleep deprivation can also cause metabolic dysregulation, resulting in increased insulin resistance and blood sugar intolerance. Lack of sleep also causes fatigue and a lack of energy, making you less motivated to work out or have a good workout. Furthermore, if you are awake for longer periods of time, you may use that extra time to eat, resulting in weight gain (4). All of these factors can have an impact on your ability to lose weight.


Sleep deprivation can affect your longevity because it increases your risk of serious and long-term health problems. Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity can all lead to serious health complications and increase your risk of death.

A study of over 55,000 people looked at the effects of sleep on life expectancy. Those who slept between seven and 8.5 hours per night lived longer, disease-free lives (5). Several other studies conducted over the last few decades have also discovered that sleep deprivation is associated with increased morbidity and mortality (6).

How to Deal with Sleep Deprivation

Given the widespread effects of sleep deprivation on health, you should prioritize getting a good night’s sleep. There are a few things you can do to increase your chances of getting the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep. These are some examples:

  • Participating in physical activity. Exercising for at least 30 minutes five to six hours before bedtime can help you sleep better.
  • Keeping harmful substances to a minimum. Caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol can all have a negative impact on your ability to sleep.
  • Maintain proper sleeping habits. Sleep hygiene entails developing habits that make your body more prone to falling and staying asleep. Setting a bedtime and wake time, staying away from electronics an hour before bed, keeping the room at a comfortable temperature, and sleeping only in your bed are all strategies.

If you still have trouble sleeping after implementing and maintaining these habits, consult your doctor. If you have been diagnosed with insomnia, your provider may be able to provide additional solutions or medication.


Many people do not prioritize sleep and get less than the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep per day. Although sleep may not appear to be that important, it can have a negative impact on your health. It can increase your risk of chronic diseases, have an effect on your mood, and ultimately reduce your life expectancy.

Knowing these dangers allows you to take steps to improve your sleeping habits and sleep quality. This entails making a number of lifestyle changes, such as working out regularly and practicing good sleep hygiene.



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