Behavioral Modifications

The Link Between Sleep and Weight Loss

Dr. Ellen Albertson, PhD, RDN, CD, NBC-HWC
A persons feet visible beneath a duvet on a bed

How’s your sleep? Do you generally wake up refreshed, energized, and excited to start your day, or do you grumpily crawl out of bed cursing the alarm clock and wishing you could sleep for another hour or two? If you answered the latter and you’re trying to lose weight, rather than following the latest fad diet, you may need to spend more time in bed

Weight and Sleep Research

When it comes to weight loss, most people think that diet and exercise are the most important areas to focus on, but a growing body of research is showing there is a sleepweight connection. Catching the late show or staying up to answer emails might be just as detrimental to your waistline as that extra glass of wine or serving of macaroni and cheese. Here’s what the science says:

People who stay up late also have additional time to eat and tend to snack more during those extra waking hours. Plus, sleep deprivation decreases the number of calories you burn each day. When you’re tired, you lack the motivation to go to the gym and are more apt to sit on the couch then take a walk.

Woman stretching restfully in bed

How to Ensure You Get Enough Zzzs

While most Americans get enough sleep (the average is 7 hours and 36 minutes each night), according to the National Sleep Foundation, 35 percent of Americans say their sleep quality is “poor” or “only fair.”6

The good news is that there are many things you can do to improve sleep quality and quantity. Here are eight suggestions to get the 7-8 hours of rest that most of us need to feel good and support weight loss.

Know that you are in charge of your night’s rest and can make permanent changes to improve your sleep. Not only will doing so help you lose weight, eat more mindfully, and stick to a healthy diet, you’ll also improve your productivity and overall health, mood, and wellbeing.

Ellen Albertson Headshot

About the Author

Dr. Ellen is a PhD, Psychologist, Registered Dietitian, National Board-Certified Health and Wellness Coach, and Mindful Selfcompassion Teacher. The Midlife Whisperer™, she empowers women to get unstuck and find the confidence, energy and clarity to make their next chapter their best chapter. An inspirational speaker and expert on women’s wellbeing, Dr. Ellen has appeared on Extra, the Food Network and NBC World News and has been quoted in Psychology Today, Eating Well and USA Today.

She has written four books and articles for SELF, Better Homes & Gardens and Good Housekeeping and was the online nutrition expert for Women’s Health, Men’s Health and the Abs Diet. She brings over 25 years of counseling, coaching, and healing experience to her holistic practice and transformational work.

Learn More about Dr. Ellen Albertson

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References

The opinions provided in this article are those of the author alone, and in no way imply an endorsement by Gelesis Inc. The information in this article should not be used as a substitute for talking with your healthcare professional. Always talk with your healthcare professional about diagnosis and treatment information.