Can sleep actually make you lose weight? That sounds so interesting for most people trying to lose weight. Contrary to popular to belief that sleeping more at night can make you fat, having a good night sleep will actually make you maintain an ideal body weight says research.

Both adequate sleep and disrupted sleep may cause various bodily reactions that may affect your weight. Adequate sleep was found to be essential for people who want to maintain an ideal body weight because sleep disruption due to various causes may just lead to weight gaining.

Hormones during sleep play an important role in the regulation of body weight so sleep disruption may also disrupt these hormones leading to poor weight control. Hormonal causation for weight gaining has long been known, but it was only recently that appetite was considered to be a factor.

When we lack sleep or when we don’t sleep at proper sleeping times during the night, it may cause an imbalance in the two major hormones responsible for appetite: ghrelin and leptin.

Ghrelin and leptin are chemicals in the body that are responsible for regulating the sensations of fullness and hunger. Leptin is produced by the fat cells while ghrelin is produced in the gastrointestinal tract. Sleep may actually dictate how much of these hormones are produced in the body.

The Role of Ghrelin

Ghrelin, produced by the mucosa of the GIT is responsible for the stimulation of appetite. Lack of sleep actually causes the ghrelin levels to increase significantly leading to increased appetite. This explains why you always crave for food upon waking up when you did not sleep well at night or you went out night partying.

The Role of Leptin

Leptin, on the other hand, is responsible for the feeling of fullness or satiety after eating. Leptin is produced by the fat cells and sends chemical signals to the brain to let you feel satisfied with your food intake. Poor sleep at night drives leptin levels down making you eat a lot without feeling fullness at all leading to over eating.

When ghrelin and leptin changes combine, it leads to increased appetite without feeling of satisfaction. These two lead to fast weight gaining especially so if you have regular poor sleep patterns at night.

What Research Say

Separate studies conducted by scientists in Stanford University and University of Chicago revealed that poor sleep in fact leads to more weight gaining.
One study found that men who lack sleep at night crave for high calorie foods such as carbohydrates. Another study revealed that those who sleep less at night tend to be more overweight.

These results support the need to sleep adequately in terms of quality and quantity. Adults are recommended to sleep at least 7 hours each night with no interruptions. People should also make sure to sleep at proper times during the night between 9 pm and 10 pm.

If you are actively employing weight loss regimens, it is also best to couple your diet plans and exercise with good sleep to ensure optimum results.