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A third of your life is devoted to sleeping. And it’s not just so you can recover from crazy happy hours, sleep is critical for your overall health. Adequate sleep is also crucial to losing weight.

Sleep helps your body repair errant cells, builds bone and muscle, consolidate memories and store up energy for your days ahead. Without enough sleep, your healthy habits tend to disappear. When your body is fatigued, it makes you crave a quick bit of energy – also known as a high-calorie carb-fest. Sleep deprivation can also lead to a laundry list of health issues. These include increased risk of depression, heart problems, gastrointestinal issues, type 2 diabetes and breast, and colorectal cancer.

If You’re Having Trouble Losing Weight, Your Issue May Be Due to Lack of Sleep.
  • The less you sleep, the more of the appetite-revving chemical ghrelin your body makes and the lower your output of leptin, the hormone that signals that you’re full. This leads to a weight-loss double whammy. It causes you to crave carb-filled foods making it almost impossible to pass on those cookies eyeing you from your kitchen pantry.
  • If you are disciplined enough to get in a workout prior to your workday, you may be working out in vain if you aren’t getting enough sleep each night. A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that sleep-deprived people on low-calorie diets lost 55 percent less body fat than those who were well-rested. What you may end up shedding is lean muscle mass.
  • Make sure you are sleeping sans any type of light exposure. Melatonin, your body’s sleep-inducing hormone, is extra light-sensitive to any type of glow. That means glow from your cell phone, TV or iPad – and even the faintest light can disrupt your melatonin production. This leaves you wide awake and prone to raiding your secret junk food stash.

If you’re having trouble losing weight, make sure you are getting enough sleep every night. Adequate rest will help you stay on track with your diet and improve your overall health.

We’ve helped thousands of local Orlando residents lose weight and keep it off with our medically supervised weight loss program. But don’t take our word, check out our real patient weight loss success stories.

Partial content from Women’s Health, Sleep Tight Every Night.