Home / Health & Fitness / Is Poor Sleep Hygiene Causing You To Gain Weight?


If you’re trying to lose weight but the scale isn’t budging, you may want to take a look at your sleep hygiene.

What is sleep hygiene?

Although you may have heard the term “sleep hygiene”, we can assure you it’s not just a trendy buzz phrase.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, “sleep hygiene is defined as a variety of different practices and habits that are necessary to have good nighttime sleep quality and full daytime alertness.”

In fact, according to statistics, 1/3 of North American’s are considered “sleep-deprived”, getting less than seven hours per night.

We know that sleep is important for many reasons; however, recent research suggests there may be a link to obesity and weight gain.

For example, adults that slept less than five hours per night were 55 per cent more likely to be obese than those who slept more than five hours per night, according to this study. 

In this article, we dive deep and tell you why ‘lack of sleep’ may be getting in the way of your goals. If you want to learn more, be sure to keep reading. 

1) It causes you to overeat

According to this study, when the participants lacked sufficient sleep, they consumed more high-fat foods and less protein. This lead to an increase in overall calories and weight gain.

In fact, another study showed that when participants were sleep-deprived, they were more likely to eat unhealthy foods in the evening.

Furthermore, a separate study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that those who didn’t get enough sleep typically consumed an additional 385 kcal per day.

When you are sleep-deprived, your brain reward receptors are activated, which means you may be more motivated to eat high-calorie foods.

A study from Uppsala University indicated that sleep-deprived people choose bigger portions of high-calorie snacks and meals, in comparison to those who get enough sleep.

2. It affects your hormones

Another possible explanation for weight gain is the disruption of the body’s internal clock, which affects regulation of leptin (satiety hormone) and ghrelin (hunger hormone).

Lack of sleep also causes stress on the body, which leads to an increase in cortisol. High cortisol has been connected to abdominal fat and an increased waistline.

3. You are awake longer

According to the Canadian Obesity Network, there are many reasons why weight gain occurs when we don’t get enough sleep. But the simplest one is this: the more time we spend awake, the more time we spend eating.

On the contrary, there may be a sweet spot when it comes to how much sleep is enough. In fact, sleeping too much may also hinder weight loss. According to this study, fewer than six and more than ten hours of sleep per day is associated with metabolic syndrome.

Women who slept fewer than six hours per night were more likely to have higher waist circumference.

4. You aren’t on your game

When you lack sleep, you will likely fall off of your exercise routine. Although further research is needed in this area, it’s a fact that when you are sleepy you’d much rather be on your couching watching Net Flix, than burning calories at the gym!

Need more sleep? Check out some of our tips to ensure you are getting enough z’s. 

  • Cut out caffeine early
  • Exercise at least five times per week
  • Add a supplement with Melatonin before bed (We love this Sleep Spray)
  • Unplug from technology before bed
  • Help decrease cortisol levels by adding in Adaptogens (We love Ionix Supreme)
  • Drink a herbal tea before bed
  • Have a bath, meditate or read to clear your mind before bed
  • Above all, prioritize your sleep. Everything else can wait!

Maybe you need a sleep coach? Check out our article to learn more! 

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