Sleep education

How Sleep Deprivation Leads To Weight Gain

Sleep Deprivation is what is known as “The Silent Culprit” because when you think about what is causing your weight gain, sleep is the last thing that might come to your mind. This is because most people are not aware of the things they do to their body whenever they deprive it of sleep. 

It starts out innocently – when you are probably at work and feeling sleepy, you reach for a snack or drink to keep you busy enough not to fall asleep. The same thing happens at night – you deprive your body of sleep to work, read, or watch a movie, and you again indulge in a snack or drink to help you stay up all night. Unknowingly to you, this vicious cycle is sabotaging your health and making you gain weight. 

In this article, we’ll explore the connection between sleep deprivation and weight gain, shedding light on the importance of prioritising quality sleep for a healthy lifestyle.

  1. Increased Appetite: Sleep deprivation disrupts the hormones that regulate hunger and appetite. When you don’t get enough sleep, the “ghrelin hormone” which is also known as the “hunger hormone” increases, leading to decreased feelings of fullness. This hormonal imbalance can result in increased food cravings, especially for high-calorie, sugary, and fatty foods.
  1. Increased Caloric Intake: Studies have shown that individuals who are sleep-deprived consume more calories throughout the day. These extra calories often come from unhealthy sources, as sleep deprivation can impair judgement and decision making related to food choices. The lack of sleep and energy makes them rely on quick, convenient and often unhealthy food options to sustain their energy.
  1. Increased Cortisol Levels: Lack of sleep triggers the release of cortisol levels which is also known as “stress hormones”. Elevated cortisol levels can promote the accumulation of abdominal fat, which is associated with an increased risk of various health issues creating the vicious cycle of sleep deprivation and weight gain.
  1. Impaired Physical Activities: Sleep deprivation can significantly impact your motivation and energy levels, making it difficult for you to engage in regular physical activity. Fatigue and decreased alertness can decrease the desire to exercise. The lack of exercise due to sleep deprivation can contribute to weight gain and hinder overall fitness.


It is very crucial to recognize the profound impact sleep deprivation can have on your overall health and weight. Prioritising quality sleep is a vital component of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and managing weight effectively. By understanding the connection between sleep deprivation and weight gain, you can make informed choices and take steps to ensure you get the restorative sleep your body needs to thrive.

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