Sleep tight, lose weight: How sleep influences your weight and eating habits

Sleep tight, lose weight: How sleep influences your weight and eating habits

We often attribute weight gain to increased food intake and decreased physical activity. However, there's a lesser-known factor that may hold the key: a poor night’s sleep.

When you don't get enough sleep, your body starts craving energy to keep going, especially for the brain, which relies on glucose as fuel. This leads to increased hunger, particularly for high-carb and sugary foods. On top of that, daytime fatigue makes it harder to stay active and exercise during the day.

The result? Cravings and unwanted weight gain.

As humans, we possess an internal clock, known as our circadian rhythm, which operates on a 24-hour cycle based on light and darkness. This rhythm is regulated by the production of melatonin, commonly referred to as the sleep hormone, which is secreted by the pineal gland in our brain.

Melatonin levels naturally rise during the night or in the absence of light. The duration of melatonin production depends on the length of our sleep, as it occurs during periods of darkness. When we sleep, our bodies recharge, conserving energy and regulating vital functions like blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, and body temperature. Disrupting this delicate sleep-wake cycle can have cumulative negative effects on our weight, as incorrect signals are transmitted at a cellular level.

Interestingly, melatonin not only plays a role in sleep but also stimulates energy expenditure and possesses anti-obesity properties. In fact, a study discovered that increasing sleep duration from 6.5 to more than 8 hours per night can reduce daily caloric intake by up to 270 calories! Melatonin even aids in fat breakdown and reduces insulin production in the pancreas. 

Just a few nights of poor sleep can lead to:

  • Elevated fasting glucose levels and decreased insulin sensitivity. As a result, your body must produce more insulin to process glucose effectively.
  • Reduced levels of leptin, a hormone associated with satiety.
  • Increased levels of ghrelin, which stimulates hunger and increases appetite, particularly for high-carb foods.
  • Impaired memory, affecting our ability to gauge portion sizes and leading us to crave higher-carb, sugary foods. 

Consequently, the result is a ravenous appetite with a faulty off switch—continuous eating becomes the norm.

Here are some essential sleeping tips from Calocurb:

  1. Avoid Late-Night Eating: Refrain from consuming meals or snacks right before bed. Eating late at night can undermine your weight loss efforts.
  2. Create a Dark Sleep Environment: Prioritise sleeping in a dark room and limit the use of electronic devices at least one hour before bedtime. 
  3. Establish a Regular Sleep Schedule: Maintain a consistent sleep routine to promote a healthy metabolism. Irregular sleep patterns can disrupt metabolism and trigger hormonal imbalances that increase hunger by raising ghrelin levels and reducing leptin production.
  4. Harness Healthy Appetite Control with Calocurb: Calocurb is a clinically proven solution that effectively suppresses appetite and reduces general food cravings. By incorporating Calocurb into your routine, you can combat external factors influencing food choices while promoting healthy sleeping habits.