Sleeping and Metabolism – How Does Sleep Affect Metabolism?


Today people are busier than ever with work, home, children, hobbies, etc. They also distracted by a continuous barrage of information with the smart phones, Facebook, twitter, and other social media tools. In order to make space for all these activities, most people compromise on the amount of time they sleep. Voluntary sleep curtailment has become a norm in today's world. About 30% of people, between the ages of 30 and 65, sleep for less than 6 hours a day.

The researchers have known the relationship between sleep and overall health for more than 40 decades. Various epidemiological studies pointed out that as sleep curtailment become a norm, obesity increased in the population. Some researchers surprised if the two were related and latest research has confirmed these suspicions.

Chronic sleep loss can lead to reduced metabolism and increased obesity. One study actually found that sleep deprivation for just one night reduces the energy expenditure among healthy adult males with normal weight by as much as 20%. Sleep effects gain gain and obesity in three different ways. Sleep loss may increase appetite, increase the time available to eat, and decrease the overall energy expenditure through lower metabolism.

Multiple studies have proved the relationship between sleep loss and increased appetite. Lack of sleep causes an increase in the levels of ghrelin hormone and a decrease in the levels of leptin hormone. These two hormones work independently to control appetite and satiety. Inadequate sleep also causes an increase in concentration of cortisol in the blood during late afternoon and evening. Increased cortisol levels are associated increase food intake.

Sleep loss makes more time available to eat. Someone, who has dinner at 6 pm and goes to bed at 9 pm, is illegally to eat snacks after dinner. However a person who eats dinner at 6 pm and goes to bed at midnight is much more likely to take one or two snacks before bedtime. Sleeping late also makes the person feel more tired and exhausted during the late night. Tired body craves carbohydrates and probability of consuming calories-dense snacks increases many-fold.

Sleep loss decreases the overall amount of energy spent. The person with adequate sleep would be tired in the morning and would indulge in less physical activity during the day, reducing the overall amount of energy used during the day. In addition, most people do not spend any extra energy while they are awake for the extra hours. They do not indulge in any physical activity during such periods and the body is essentially at rest and metabolic rate is the same at resting metabolic rate. The overall metabolic rate is lower as a result of these two factors.

Adequate sleep is essential for healthy weight maintenance. It can help to control appetite and increase energy during the waking hours.