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Does Sleep Affect Weight Loss?

Alexander Singh
June 6, 2022

Losing weight is challenging and requires a few significant lifestyle changes that greatly impact and affect a person's health and life. A majority of people think of diet and exercise as the only important factors affecting weight loss.

However, there is one more crucial element that we often forget about, which is proper sleep; yes, you read it right. Having a good night's sleep and proper rest after a long day is as essential for the body to lose weight as a healthy diet and an active lifestyle.

Why is Sleep Important?

Sleep is the body's way of resting after working all day. Like every other person and living thing in the universe, our bodies and minds also need some time off to rest and reset. Sleep is essential and crucial for the body and mind to function properly, develop immunity, fight diseases, and ensure proper metabolism. 

Sleep is interconnected to each part, organ, and aspect of our body and life, while greatly impacting our health and well-being. Surprisingly our body has an internal clock known as the 'circadian rhythm' that operates according to a 24-hour cycle. 

This circadian rhythm notices and manages our body and energy levels when we get tired, sleepy, refreshed or alert. The circadian rhythm is also responsible for predicting and impacting our moods when we get enough sleep and don't get enough sleep, leading us to irritation, stress, lack of concentration, and so on. 

What Counts as Quality Sleep? 

Sleep quality depends on how well you have slept and how restful and restorative you feel afterward. Your quality of sleep differs from the quantity of sleep you have got. For example, you may have slept for ten hours but with disruption and wakefulness. 

While on the other hand, you sleep only for five hours without disruption and feel energized and calm like never before. The latter experience happens due to the quality of your sleep. The quality of sleep can be measured by four factors, which are discussed below:

  • Sleep latency: Sleep latency means the duration you take to drift off to sleep after you go to bed. Taking around 30 minutes to fall asleep after going to bed or less counts as good quality sleep. 
  • Sleep waking: This refers to how many times you wake up during your sleep for any reason or due to any disruption. Waking up only once or not at all implies a good quality sleep. 
  • Wakefulness: This factor refers to the time and number of minutes you stay awake due to interference after going to sleep for the first time. It is considered good quality sleep if you stay awake only for twenty minutes or less.
  • Sleep efficiency: This measurement is the amount or percentage of which you sleep while in the bed without any wakefulness, sleep waking or any other disruption. Anything around 85 percent or greater is considered a qualitative sleep percentage.

What is Sleep Hygiene? 

Sleep hygiene is simply the environment you create, and your routine for sleep. Maintaining a healthy and peaceful environment in your bedroom, and a calm and relaxing routine contributes to good sleep hygiene.

Sleep hygiene also depends on a few factors, and you can follow effective sleep hygiene by working on the following things:

  • Set a sleep schedule: Set a proper sleep schedule by having a fixed sleeping and waking up time. Prioritize your sleep above everything else, and take shorter naps during the day, as they can affect your night's sleep.
  • Set a nightly routine: Keep your nighttime routine consistent, and take out 30 minutes every night to relax in bed. Dim your lights and unplug your electronics while practicing your favorite relaxation method.
  • Set healthy habits: This means avoiding eating late at night, consuming too much caffeine during the day, and reducing excessive smoking and alcohol consumption. One should also carry out an active daytime routine to have a good night's sleep.
  • Optimize your bedroom: You can optimize your sleeping space by using a comfortable mattress and pillows, setting a comfortable temperature with calming scents, and blocking out any noise or lights in your bedroom while you sleep.

What Happens When You Don’t Get Enough Rest?

An adequate amount of rest and sleep is essential for a properly working body and mind, as it is the body and mind's way to energize itself and get going. Adults aged 24 to 65 years require almost 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night to function properly.

Following are the issues that you can incur if you don’t get enough sleep or rest at night:

  • You can experience excessive sleepiness during the daytime. Laziness, lethargy, sleepiness, and tiredness are the most common symptoms that indicate not sleeping properly at night.
  • You can also experience impaired memory, resulting in a lack of ability to think, process, and remember information.
  • You might even feel distorted all day long, and might experience a lack of alertness in your surroundings and activities. 
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability and stress can make you develop conflicts with others, affecting your relationships and friendships.
  • Your quality of life can also become compromised, as you will likely start avoiding and neglecting activities and daily tasks due to lethargy and tiredness.
  • Drowsiness and sleepiness are also major causes of car accidents, crashes, fatalities, and injuries.

Other Factors That Impact Your Body Weight

Many factors can impact a person's body weight, including medical conditions, lifestyle factors, gender, working routine, eating habits and genes. Some of the most important factors that impact your body weight are:


If you have had a history or family background of weight gain, you are also most likely to end up gaining weight, as genes can greatly impact a person's weight. 


Some ethnicities are more prone to obesity and weight gain than others, such as Americans and African-Americans; they have the highest rate of prevalent obesity, followed by Hispanics and Latinos. At the same time, Asian-American men and women have the lowest rate of obesity.


People with a normal BMI are more prone to gain weight during their adulthood until they reach 60 to 65 years.


In some ethnicities, obesity is associated with a certain gender. On the other hand, factors like hormonal changes, pregnancy, irregular menstrual cycles, or menopause can also cause women to gain weight more than men. 

Eating Habits

Consuming a carbohydrate and fat-prone diet also increases the chances of a person gaining weight. In order to lose weight, a person should consume a diet full of protein, minerals, and healthy options such as grains and legumes. 

Active Lifestyle

Leading an active lifestyle is equally important to losing weight, as having no activity at all can greatly cause weight gain. Daily exercise, walking and running can effectively help in weight loss. 

Not Enough Sleep

Not having enough sleep also contributes greatly to improper functions of body organs, especially the metabolism process. This, again, greatly affects a person's weight and obesity. 

Medical Ailments 

Medical ailments such as excessive cholesterol and lipid levels, female reproductive disorders, and thyroid and hormonal imbalances are also leading causes of weight gain and obesity.