Does Lack of Sleep Make You Fat?

Does Lack of Sleep Make You Fat?

Lack of Sleep: It doesn’t matter whether you’re an early bird or a grouch in the morning – too little sleep is not good. Worse still, lack of sleep is said to make you fat. Read here what the research says about this and how you can prevent sleep deprivation.

How much sleep do we need?

If we end up in bed too late at night, we usually feel it the next morning. The eyes just don’t want to stay open, it’s hard to get out of bed and the atmosphere is also in the basement. But how much sleep is too little?

In fact, some people need more sleep than others. While some get by with seven hours, others only slept after nine hours. The need for sleep is not only individual, it also changes with age. While teenagers need eight to ten hours of sleep, the recommendation for adults is seven to nine hours. We can tell how much is the right dose for ourselves by how rested we feel the next day. Of course, not only the duration but also the restfulness of sleep plays a role here.

Does Lack of Sleep Make You Fat?


The need for sleep is individual and is between seven and nine hours for adults.

How does lack of sleep affect it?

It has long been known that sleeping is much more than a nocturnal break. Many vital metabolic processes take place overnight: the body produces new cells, burns fat, and eliminates pathogens that we absorb during the day. If you don’t sleep enough, you will feel it sooner or later on different levels:

Consequences of lack of sleep:

  • decreased concentration
  • weaker immune system
  • impaired memory
  • increased stress
  • irritability
  • slower response time
  • sluggish digestion
  • worse complexion
  • more appetite
  • elevated cortisol levels


A lack of sleep impairs our ability to think, among other things, and has a negative effect on digestion, the complexion, and the immune system.

Does lack of sleep really make you fat?

It has long been known from various studies that too little sleep makes it more difficult to lose weight. The reason for this is the hormones.

Less satiety hormones

Not getting enough sleep causes leptin levels to drop. However, the hormone is partly responsible for our slim line. In fact, leptin regulates fat metabolism, curbs appetite, and keeps us full and satisfied. If the sleep phase is not long enough, too little leptin is released. As a result, we have more appetite and eat more often.

Studies show that there is an increased risk of being overweight

But has it been proven that lack of sleep makes you fat? Yes, scientists from Germany and Switzerland came to the conclusion that too little sleep is not only a real brake on weight loss but also a reason for gaining weight. 

Does Lack of Sleep Make You Fat?

The researchers wanted to know exactly and have summarized all study results on the subject of sleep deprivation and its consequences in an overview study. The result: Anyone who sleeps very irregularly or less than five hours a night over a longer period of time has an increased risk of becoming overweight and developing type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. 

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Tips to avoid lack of sleep

  1. Same bedtime:  Humans are creatures of habit. If you make your sleeping times a routine, the body can adapt well and fall asleep better and get up better.
  2. Dark, quiet bedroom: The environment in which we sleep is extremely important for finding sleep and waking up refreshed in the morning. It should be dark, quiet, orderly, and clean.
  3. Ban digital devices: Mobile phones, tablets, televisions and the like should disappear from the bedroom. Not only do they keep us from falling asleep, but they also disturb our night’s rest unnoticed by the radiation.
  4. Don’t eat too late: Anyone who has ever had a burger or a fat pizza just before bed knows that it’s hard to fall asleep with a full stomach and it also makes you sleep less well. Therefore, eat your last large meal at least two hours before you go to bed. Make sure your meal isn’t too high in fat.
  5. Exercise makes you tired: if you exercise regularly, you sleep better. Fresh air, working out, and being active makes you tired. A walk before going to bed also helps to fall asleep better.
  6. Postpone work until tomorrow: No matter how important it is, if you work late into the evening, you are depriving yourself of your sleep. Most of the time, concentration wanes anyway when the hour is late and it makes more sense to postpone work to the next day.
  7. No series during the week: It is in the nature of series that we prefer to watch one episode after the other. Prevent binge-watching by only watching series on weekends. How to avoid nights in front of the TV.


There are tips to help you fall asleep. These include not eating large meals before bed, turning off digital devices, and darkening the room.

Knowledge to take away 

Lack of sleep is bad for you – everyone knows that. Whether physically or mentally, if you don’t sleep enough, you’re not quite up to par. A lack of sleep also has a physical effect in the long run: the immune system no longer works as effectively, as usual, and we are less concentrated and hungrier.

Various studies have shown that lack of sleep not only makes it more difficult for us to lose weight but also makes us fat. Researchers found that people who don’t get enough sleep over a long period of time are more likely to become overweight. 

A number of measures can prevent lack of sleep: always go to bed at the same time, ban the television and other digital devices from the bedroom and move your favorite series to the weekend. Exciting series are often the reason why we sleep later than planned.


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