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When we’re sleep-deprived, we’re less motivated to exercise and get things done. We make poor food choices and we’re more likely to pick sugary or fatty foods over healthy options.  Alternatively, we reach for the stimulants (coffee/black tea/alcohol) to keep us going.

For those that have a harder time managing body volume, do consider the relationship between sleep and the body.

Weight gain and insulin resistance (IR) have been found to be causally related to disrupted sleep.  One week of lost sleep can seriously affect blood sugar levels. This is one reason why there is a link between insomnia and increased risk of insulin resistance in post menopausal females.

Numerous studies have looked at the link between sleep and weight. Overall, the results show that if we get less sleep than we need, our weight tends to increase

A recent clinical trial showed that when people were sleep-deprived:

  • they ate significantly more calories.
  • they had a preference for fatty foods.
  • their energy expenditure did not change
  • Participants ate, on average, 300 extra calories per day when sleep-deprived and most of this extra intake was accounted for by fats.
  • Another study collated data from more than 170 participants subjected to partial sleep-deprivation and the results showed that just a single night of inadequate sleep led to eating, on average, an extra 385 calories the next day.


Another study found that people who would be considered as ‘night owls’, whose activity peaks late in the day and who go to bed much later than most, also have a higher risk of weight gain. Late sleepers were found to consume nearly 250 calories more than ‘normal’ sleepers. They also consumed more fast food and less fruit and vegetables.


If you are intermittent fasting, avoiding food after your last meal until the first meal the next day, help to avoid the extra food being consumed later in the day.  In fact, the earlier you can eat your evening meal, the better….and when possible have your larger meals earlier in the day and something light for your last meal.


For those interested in the links between sleep and blood sugar balance, here is a recent article:

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