New science continues to demonstrate the importance of a restful, good night’s sleep to maintaining normal weight and metabolism. During the last decade, research efforts have continued to shed light on the established association between sleep quality and obesity.1 It appears that sleep deprivation alters various aspects of the hormonal control of metabolism. For example, lack of sleep also increases the levels of the “hunger hormone” ghrelin, and there is also evidence that energy expenditure—calorie burning—is decreased by lack of sleep.2 Very exciting new research has also identified a link
Ghrelin: “hunger hormone” produced from lack of sleep.
between duration of sleep and intake of free sugars, suggesting that quality sleep itself is a key strategy to combating obesity.3 While research is ongoing in this area the indications are clear—a good night’s sleep is an important part of any holistic approach to weight loss and management.
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- Beccuti G, Pannain S. Sleep and obesity. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2011 Jul;14(4):402-12.
- Knutson KL, et al. The metabolic consequences of sleep deprivation. Sleep Med Review. 2007 Jun;11(3):163-78.
- Al Khatib HK, et al. Sleep extension is a feasible lifestyle intervention in free-living adults who are habitually short sleepers: a potential strategy for decreasing intake of free sugars? A randomized controlled pilot study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2018 Jan;107(1):43–53