Does Lack of Sleep Cause Weight Gain?

Does Lack of Sleep Cause Weight Gain?

Insufficient sleep has so many negative effects on the body, everything from decreased physical performance and cognitive function to increased risk of disease. But does lack of sleep cause weight gain? The answer, it turns out, is pretty much yes. Research has found a link between less than 7 hours of sleep per night and weight gain and a higher body mass index. We’re here to spell out the connection and perhaps help you right the sleep ship, if it’s gone off course. 

The Connection Between Sleep and Food

As humanity has learned more and more about our own bodies and the natural world, the connections between different aspects only come into sharper focus. In this case, we mean the connection between sleep and food. There’s even something called the sleep diet, a concept which is built around the idea that you can lose weight by sleeping more. 

It’s all about what your metabolism needs to function properly. Many factors contribute to a well-functioning metabolism, but there’s one that we’re particularly concerned with here: adequate sleep! That’s right: your metabolism will not be at peak performance unless you’re getting enough quality sleep each night. (Shocking, right?) 

So how much sleep is enough? The exact amount varies from person to person, but it is commonly understood that 7-9 hours is the ideal range for most people. As we mentioned, research has linked having less than 7 hours of sleep per night with weight gain and a higher body mass index. Another study that focused specifically on short sleep duration found a link between insufficient sleep and increased risk of obesity by 89% in children and 55% in adults. Worst of all, it’s a cycle that perpetuates itself: common sleep issues tend to be made worse by weight gain, which itself can degrade your sleep quality, rinse and repeat. 

Appetite plays a role here, too. Those who are sleep-deprived are more likely to have a bigger appetite, most likely due to the effect that poor sleep has on the hormones that control hunger. Research has found that sleep deprivation may result in people consuming more calories the next day, with proportionately higher fat and lower protein intakes. Think about it from your own life: how often have you just grabbed a quick snack when tired instead of taking the time to craft a nutritious meal?

The Positive Effects of Better Sleep

If lack of sleep does cause weight gain, the flip side is that good, quality sleep can help with physical fitness. For one thing, if you’re tired, you likely won’t have the energy to exercise in the first place. If you try to get it done anyway, you’ll probably tire yourself out more quickly and accomplish much less than if you were operating with a full night’s rest. 

In addition to improving your athletic performance and eating habits, other positive effects of healthy sleep include improved cognitive function, which helps to maintain a positive mindset and more efficiently absorb information; maintaining a strong immune system; and keeping energy levels up overall.

Luckily for you, we’re obsessed with sleep, so if you need some help in improving your sleep, we’ve got you covered from every angle. 

CBD and Sleep 

In addition to lifestyle changes, another way to avoid lack of sleep causing weight gain is to try incorporating CBD into your routine. (Just don’t forget to check with your doctor first, as you should before trying any new supplements.) Researchers have discovered that lack of sleep actually alters your endocannabinoid levels, which are the chemical signals that affect appetite. Not only do these results potentially help explain the link between poor sleep and weight gain, but they also may help explain why CBD can help bring balance with sleep and appetite! 

Recall the existence of the endocannabinoid system, a biological system in the human body, that is composed of endocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors, enzymes, neurons, and neural pathways. Two of the processes that the ECS helps to keep properly functioning are sleep and appetite, bringing us full circle to how CBD may be able to help support improved sleep. 

CBD is all-natural (just like the hormone melatonin, another common sleep aid) and well-tolerated by the body. While research on CBD for sleep is still in the preliminary stages, there are signs that point to beneficial outcomes. We even commissioned our own CBD sleep study with a board-certified doctor of natural medicine, which found that 93% of participants experienced greater quality of sleep after consistent use of CBD Night Gummies for Sleep and 86% of participants experienced a greater ability to fall asleep overall. Gummies are not the only way to get CBD for sleep though, so check out our guide to the right CBD sleep product for you if you’re curious about other forms!

So does lack of sleep cause weight gain? Unfortunately, it looks like the answer is more or less yes. Luckily, the path to improved sleep is in your hands and we’re here to help. Check out all our CBD for sleep products and keep your eyes on our blog, where we’re always sharing the latest information on how CBD can improve sleep, health, and wellness. Learn even more about our favorite compound in our CBD 101 guide. Need an easier way to figure out which CBD product is right for you? We’ve got you there, too – take our CBD product quiz to find the right one for you.

Laura Kendrick
Marketer & Cat Lady