The Correlation Between Sleep and Obesity

It may come as no surprise that there is a strong correlation between lack of sleep/insomnia/sleep apnea and other sleep-related disorders and obesity. Possibly see this reflected in your struggles with weight and sleep, know someone else who is struggling, or maybe you have been having trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep and would like to be prepared for some of the residual effects? Scientists have studied the correlation between obesity and lack of sleep fairly closely, and their findings shed some light on how the two might be related.

Having restricted sleep increases various hormones that promote hunger, so people who are sleeping less are just naturally more hungry and thus take in more calories during the day unless they are very aware and keeping an eye on this process. Lack of sleep is also thought to increase cortisol (our stress hormone), causing stress and potential over-eating as a result.

This is almost too obvious, but people who stay awake longer are more likely to eat more just because of the sheer hours that they’re awake. Those who are awake for longer hours in the day are known to snack more than others- it’s just common sense that if you’re awake, you may get hungry and eat. On top of that, tired people are much less likely to be physically active, because they don’t have excess energy for exercise. Although, becoming physically active may have a positive effect on your sleep schedule if you are experiencing trouble sleeping or insomnia. Working out (in the morning to mid-day) is proven to help you sleep at night, and combining these practices may alleviate some of the difficulties of both restricted sleep and obesity!

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