Sleep, Health and Weight Loss

If you feel tired, you automatically grab a cup of coffee or many cups, along with a sugary snack to get fast energy. Then when you get hungry later, you might be tempted to go for some fast food and bring home a pre-cooked meal for the family instead of feeling the desire to cook a healthy meal at home.  By the time you lie down in bed, you can’t fall asleep due to the sugar spike. So you sleep little and wake up tired again the next morning…and so the cycle continues. Or maybe you have inordinate stress due to say a pandemic or normal stress from work, finances, or family.

The short-term result is that you may have the ability to get through the day, but in the long term, you gain weight due to less than stellar food choices in combination with none or minimal exercise.

If you keep adding on to your sleep debt, you will pay dearly with your health, weight, and emotional well-being. Eventually, you will crash – possibly in a literal sense. Those who are sleep-deprived are more likely to cause a car accident than a drunk driver. 
This article is not suggesting that if you get enough sleep, life will be perfect; however, when you do not get enough sleep on a continuous basis, your body does not function correctly. The result is a lot more than just the weight gain that comes from hormone imbalances, but for those reading this article, let’s focus on that for a moment.
The recommended sleep is about 7-8 hours per night. Sleeping more will not equate to dropping the last 10 pounds of our weight goal – but if you are currently sleeping around five hours at a time and you increase it to 7 or 8, you will likely drop some of the extra weight in a reasonable timeframe. You will also potentially improve your blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and other health indicators – but you should check with your doctor to see where you are today and how proper sleep might impact your medical concerns and any prescriptions you are taking.
There are two important hormones (besides cortisol) that affect our weight management – ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin determines your hunger. Less sleep causes your body to produce more ghrelin and in turn to eat more. Leptin decides when to stop eating. When you sleep less, your body produces less leptin.

In addition to the above, metabolism slows down quickly when you don’t sleep enough. While slower metabolism in a healthy nutrient-dense lifestyle is a good thing (to be discussed in a future article,) sudden metabolism drops due to sleep loss is another cause of weight gain, even without increasing your intake of poor food choices.

How do you resolve your lack of sleep?

  • Avoid caffeine after lunch.
  • Exercise regularly to improve the quality of sleep. It’s up to you when you exercise but it is suggested that most people should not exercise close to bedtime.
  • Cut out junk food at night – high-calorie, processed foods or “heavy” foods can cause indigestion, bloating, and cause your body to focus on digestion instead of healing when you are sleeping. This impacts the quality of your sleep and body functionality and can result in quick weight gain.

If you are getting a full night of sleep most nights and still wake up exhausted, you may need to evaluate your current stress and anxiety levels. There are many exercises you can use to reduce anxiety and stress for short-term and long-term needs. On the other hand, there may be underlying conditions, and you should seek your doctor’s advice for further examination.

Need someone to help you put down that ice cream or pick up those vegetables? Hire a coach. @darcikingry is available via Zoom, phone or other media to help you with tips and tricks and the facts. It’s never just about the food. That’s why hiring a coach trained in holistic life and health coaching can make a difference in your success.

Darci has been on The Doctor Oz Show, highlighted in the 2015 PBS special with Joel Fuhrman, M.D., interviewed by Elisha Lee of Eat to Live Daily and the popular Facebook group, and is included in the book Legends of Change by Rebecca Frith. Follow Darci on Instagram at @darcikingry or Facebook and








It Is Never Just About Food!
Weight Loss Quick Tips

Leave a Reply