Inadequate Sleep boosts Appetite

Loosing few hours of precious sleep each night can leave you with more than an eye bug and a sleepy day. Lack of enough sleep can literally add up several pounds to your weighing scale. The connection between inadequate sleep and obesity is so strong that we can no longer take this fact for granted.

Inadequate Sleep boosts Appetite
Inadequate Sleep boosts's the science behind it

@healthbiztips by Arlene Gentallan

Not having enough sleep messes up with the body's hormones and metabolism.

Scientific studies show that inadequate sleep decreases leptin hormone and increases ghrelin hormone in the body leading to an increase in appetite, which can consequently, lead to an inevitable weight gain.

The role of leptin and ghrelin

Leptin is a hormone produced by fat cells whose purpose is to suppress appetite and increase metabolism. However, even when obese people have high leptin levels, their body has become immune to it's effect.

Moreover, leptin promotes inflammation, an important precursor in the development of many chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disease, and inflammatory bowel disorder.

Ghrelin is a hormone produced by the stomach whose role is to increase appetite and make you feel hungry.

Don't underestimate appetite's critical role in weight gain. The role of leptin and ghrelin in appetite control is recognized in the use of ghrelin-suppresing drug to curb one's appetite to loose weight.

A study shows that individuals who sleep less than 7 hours each night consequently eat more when they are awake.

How long is an adequate sleep?

According to the National Sleep Foundation, the number of hours of sleep considered adequate for a person varies by age group:

  • Teenagers (14-17 years old) should get around 8-10 hours of sleep each night.
  • Young adult (18-25 years old) should get around 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
  • Adults (26-64 years old) should get around 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
  • Older adults (65 years old and above) should get around 7-8 hours of sleep each night.

There are people who want to desperately loose weight only to be defeated by their good appetite and poor self control. Compounding the problem is the presence of stress which can inevitably add more pounds to the scale.

At some point, an overweight person will want to shed off those extra pounds, but the harsh reality is it's easier to gain fats rather than to loose them. You certainly can't loose all those nasty pounds overnight...well, unless you undergo liposuction. Many people give up on loosing weight because they loose motivation owing to the fact that the weight loss journey is both hard and long.

It may seem futile at first, but habit builds a strong foundation. Why not start off your weight loss initiative with an adequate good night's sleep.


Markwald, Rachel R et al. “Impact of insufficient sleep on total daily energy expenditure, food intake, and weight gain” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America vol. 110,14 (2013): 5695-700.

Prinz P (2004) Sleep, appetite, and obesity—What is the link? PLoS Med 1(3): e61.

National Sleep Foundation. How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?



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