Get a Good Night’s Sleep to Lose Weight

Most of us think that by simply eating right and being more active we will achieve our weight loss goals.  But there’s another part of our daily lifestyle that can help or hinder our progress…sleep.

Numerous scientific studies have proven that getting enough quality sleep is a great way to support your weight loss goals. Why? When your body is deprived of sleep, it increases the release of a hormone called ghrelin, which increases appetite and slows down metabolism. You’ll wake up feeling hungrier and your body will burn fewer calories – exactly the opposite of what you want when you’re trying to lose weight! Studies have also shown that dieters who were well-rested lost weight from body fat while sleep deprived dieters lost weight from muscle mass.

The National Institute of Health provides steps on how to improve your sleep habits, such as going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, keeping the same sleep schedule on weeknights and weekends, and using the hour before bed for quiet time. On those days when it’s just not possible to get the full 7-8 hours of sleep your body needs, here are some tips to help you cope the next day:

  • Recognize that you may feel hungrier the next day. Just knowing why you can often help you make more thoughtful eating choices.
  • Load up on protein, especially at breakfast. Add two extra egg whites to your morning omelet. It’s always better to eat more of the right calories!
  • If you’re looking for a caffeine boost, have a cup or two of coffee or tea to get your day started. But switch to herbal tea or water after noon so you don’t disrupt that night’s sleep again.
  • Since low energy density foods tend to turn off ghrelin production, have an extra-large green salad (2 – 3 cups) with a tablespoon of low-fat dressing before lunch and dinner.
  • Control your hunger by snacking on veggies. Keep a baggie nearby of ready to eat carrots, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, and sweet peppers. Munch on these when you start to feel the urge to eat something.
  • Rev up your metabolism by taking a walk or exercising.

So the next time your schedule gets too busy and you consider sacrificing a couple hours of sleep, remember that not only will sleep help protect your health and well-being, it will also help you achieve successful weight loss.


Zestar co-founder and dedicated Zestar app user Joy Solomon was inspired by her weight loss struggles with diet after diet that did not bring results. Guided by her scientific education and extensive medical and health information background (including CEO of IVI Publishing, the creator of the highly acclaimed Mayo Clinic health information website), Joy delved into the science of weight loss to bring Zestar to life. Join her on her weight loss journey as she blogs about tips and insights that can help you be successful on your weight loss journey too. Read Joy's full bio.


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