The Sleep-Weight Connection

June 25, 2024

The connection between sleep and weight runs deep. Poor sleep affects our eating and activity habits, and late-night snacking and comfort food often become coping mechanisms for low energy. Plus! Reduced sleep not only reduces our motivation to stay active, but also amplifies the temptation of a cozy night on the couch with Netflix.

Quality sleep is truly the bedrock of overall health and plays an important role in weight management.

Research consistently highlights the intricate hormonal dance that happens during sleep deprivation, influencing appetite-regulating hormones like ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin (our hunger hormone) tends to surge, signaling that desire for high-calorie, sugary foods. Meanwhile, leptin (responsible for signaling fullness) decreases, which can lead us to overeat. Basically - we aren’t satisfied when we eat, causing us to crave and eat more to compensate.

This hormonal imbalance creates a challenging environment for weight. It underscores the importance of prioritizing adequate, quality sleep as a strategy in fostering health & a healthy weight.

Tips & Tricks! 

  • An estimated 80% of patients who experience sleep apnea are undiagnosed! That means 8 out of 10 people who stop breathing in their sleep are not getting appropriate treatment! If you're struggling with excess weight, have been told you snore or stop breathing in your sleep, or wake up with headaches or fatigue -- talk with your doctor about getting tested for Sleep Apnea
  • Have a consistent wind-down routine before bed. Keep your house slightly cooler in the evening, and make sure your bedroom promotes a relaxing environment. Remove electronic devices, like TVs & smartphones, from your bedroom and avoid using for at least 30 minutes before settling down for the night.
  • Stay active during the day. Moving more can help you fall and stay asleep more easily at night.
  • Do your best to keep with a regular sleep schedule. Night shift work and flip-flopping schedules can make this tough! 
  • If you're struggling with insomnia, don't suffer in silence! Talk with your doctor about any appropriate treatments, recommendations, or referrals
Disclaimer: This blog provides general information and discussions about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this blog, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your health care provider or seek other professional medical treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something that have read on this blog or in any linked materials. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or before starting new diet, supplement, medication, exercise, or other health plan. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or emergency services immediately. The opinions and views expressed on this blog and website belong that only of the author of that blog article and not any organizations they may represent.
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