how poor sleep can sabotage weight loss goals

Getting a good nights sleep is essential for our general health and wellbeing everyone knows that. But did you know that poor sleep can sabotage your weight loss goals. To put it bluntly, poor sleep can make you fat…

I love my sleep. Catching some quality 💤 😴 is a priority for me every night. I love to feel alert, on top of my game and fresh for a new day and there’s nothing like a good night sleep to deliver that. But who knew that it can also help with weight loss…Let’s dive deeper…

If you’re short of time here’s a brief outline of what’s to come. Lots of cute sleeping photos 😬 and about a 3 minute read.

sleep like a baby for good health

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Not getting enough sleep messes about with our hormones – Ghrelin, Leptin and Cortisol.

Ghrelin is the hormone that signals hunger to your brain. When you don’t get enough sleep your Ghrelin levels increase. As you can imagine this is a problem. Increased hunger means increased eating resulting in an expanding waistline.

Leptin is the hormone that sends signals to your brain that it is full up. When your sleep is poor the levels of Leptin in your body decrease. Again problematic since even when your full up your not getting the message. This is bound to lead to overeating.

Cortisol is the fat storing hormone. It is also known as the stress hormone and is thought to increase appetite. Cortisol levels increase when we don’t get enough sleep which again, cannot be good news for our waistlines.

Since cortisol levels are strongly connected to type 2 diabetes, I have to mention here that there is believed to be an important link between sleep deprivation and type 2 diabetes. If you are interested in this click this link to read an article by The Sleep Doctor.

These natural hormonal occurrences are part of your bodies natural defences. Their purpose is to protect your body not to make you fat but with consistent lack of sleep that will inevitably be the result.

sleep like a baby to be healthy

Poor Choices

When we are hungry we don’t think straight. Our brains can’t function properly. Even after one night of bad sleep.

We tend to make poor choices and rash decisions. We are more likely to give in to cravings and give ourselves excuses for bad behaviour. Of course this can result in us making poor food choices. I’m looking at you sugar.

Hands up who recognises this. I’m definately guilty as charged.😉

More Time More Calories

This ones fairly obvious. When you’re not in you’re bed and sleeping you’re up and about awake. Being up more means more time to eat, and therefore more food, more calories and more potential weight gain.

Additionally, Many people also like to stay up late hence why they don’t get enough sleep. Late night snacking is definitely a thing, I’m sure you agree and I’ve never heard of late night snacking involving anything healthy!!!

Decreases Resting Metabolism

Studies have shown that sleep restriction can decrease our resting metabolism. This makes sense since it’s simply the bodies deeply entrenched self protection being unleashed. Because of the lack of sleep the body automatically goes into energy conservation mode which causes the lowering resting metabolism.

A low resting metabolism is bad news for anyone wanting to loose weight but it will immediately go back to normal after a good nights sleep. So one nights bad sleep will cause no problem but consistent and consecutive ones could play havoc with weight goals.

If you want to read more in-depth about these studies Click here

sleep is important for your health
cat sleeping

Less Likely To Excercise

This is really going back to the bad decision making which often results from sleep deprivation. You are much less likely to hit the gym or do your workout thing, whatever that may be, if you haven’t had a good nights sleep and are exhausted. If this lack of quality sleep is regular then multiply that unlikelyhood by a million.

I’m not a believer in excercising as a weight control method directly by burning off calories. But, I do think excercise helps us meet our weight and body goals indirectly and of course it does directly improve our health.

Excercise oxygenates us and tones our muscles making us look better. It also improves our mental attitude meaning we’re more likely to make healthy food choices and decisions.

Reasons For Poor Sleep Habits

There are many factors causing many of us not to get sufficient sleep including:

Tackling the above should improve your sleep quality.

Other Consequences of Poor Sleep Habits

Sabotaging your weight loss goals is just one of the consequences of poor sleep. It also threatens our good health:-

bad sleep sabotages weight loss


You have to prioritise your sleep. The odd nights bad sleep isn’t going to harm you. The problem comes with consistent low sleep quality. Weight control and indeed our whole general health is not just about what we eat or how many workouts we get in. Taking a holistic, whole body/whole lifestyle approach to health and weight loss will give much better and lifetime lasting results and getting a good night sleep consistently is just one part of that.

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Further Reading

Posts to help you tackle sleep disturbing habits:-

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I would love to hear your questions, comments or suggestions below. 💋

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