Sleep deprivation and weight loss: Don’t underestimate the power of rest

It’s no secret that a good night’s sleep sets the stage for the day ahead. When I get a bad night’s sleep it affects everything that I do! But did you know that it also affects your eating habits?

Recent studies show that those who suffer from sleep deprivation are more prone to over-eating, eating over-sized portions, and eating foods with high fat and sugar content! Who knew that having a bad night’s sleep could be so detrimental to your weight loss goals?

According to one study done in Sweden, men who didn’t get enough sleep were much more likely to choose a larger portion size, than men who got a sufficient amount of sleep the night prior. Another study done by Stephanie M. Greer, Andrea N. Goldstein and  Matthew P. Walker found that sleep deprivation caused a higher likelihood of choosing “high calorie junk food”. They were also more likely to “load up their plate” at a buffet.

Matthew Walker told, “What we have discovered is that high-level brain regions required for complex judgments and decisions become blunted by a lack of sleep, while more primal brain structures that control motivation and desire are amplified.”

Ensuring that you get a good night’s sleep has become less of a priority in recent poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation. In an article published by Dr. Mercola on his website titled  “Americans Don’t Get Enough Sleep”, he says, “The United States as a whole is one sleepy nation, according to the latest poll from the National Sleep Foundation (NSF). Only about four in 10 respondents said they got a good night’s sleep every night, or almost every night, of the week. While there were some differences in sleep habits among ethnic groups (African Americans reported getting the least amount of sleep), the overall trend was that Americans are sorely lacking on good-quality shut-eye. About one-third of adults in all ethnic groups said they get less sleep than they need to function at their best.”

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If you are one who suffers with sleep deprivation, there are ways to promote a good night sleep every night. Get yourself into a bedtime routine. Turn off screens an hour before you plan on lying down. Take a bath, or read a book. Do something to induce a calm mind, and a relaxed body.

If you can manage to get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep, you will see the benefits in many areas of your life!



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Americans Don’t Get Enough Sleep. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Pleunie S. Hogenkampcorrespondenceemail, Emil Nilsson, Victor C. Nilsson, Colin D. Chapman, Heike Vogel, Lina S. Lundberg, Sanaz Zarei, Jonathan Cedernaes, Frida H. Rångtell, Jan-Erik Broman, Suzanne L. Dickson, Jeffrey M. Brunstrom, Christian Benedict1email, Helgi B. Schiöth1 1Contributed equally. (2013, September). Acute sleep deprivation increases portion size and affects food choice in young men. Retrieved from

Stephanie M. Greer, Andrea N. Goldstein & Matthew P. Walker. (2013, August 6). The impact of sleep deprivation on food desire in the human brain. Retrieved from

Why the Sleep-Deprived Crave Junk Food and Buy Higher Calorie Foods – PsyBlog. (n.d.). Retrieved from

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