Lost Sleep Linked To Weight Gain

It has been known for quite some time that a lack of sleep effects your health in general and can also cause weight gain. But it was never known how much sleep someone would need to be deprived of for it to affect health.

Only 30 Minutes?!

A research study from 2015 suggests missing just 30 minutes of shuteye a day during weeknights could boost your weight, affect insulin resistance, and disrupt your metabolism. Thirty minutes! That’s nothing!

Many people skimp on sleep during the week and try to make up for it on the weekend, but weekday sleep debt may lead to long-term metabolic disruption, which may promote or exacerbate type 2 diabetes.

Sleep and Weight Loss

The study’s findings suggest avoiding sleep debt could have positive benefits for waistlines and metabolism. If you're a practitioner working with clients who want to lose weight, incorporating sleep into a person’s lifestyle interventions for weight loss and diabetes might improve their success.

Detail About the Study

The researchers studied 522 patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes and randomly assigned them to usual care, added exercise, or diet and exercise.

"At the study's start, those who didn't get enough sleep during the week were 72% more likely to be obese than those with sufficient sleep."

Six months later, the researchers said those same participants were more likely to be obese and have blood sugar problems.

Just a half hour of missed sleep during weekdays was enough to cause problems, the researchers found.

The study found, after one year, for every 30 minutes of weekday sleep debt at baseline, the risk of obesity and insulin resistance – an indicator of diabetes -- was increased by 17% and 39%, respectively.

Sleep is not something to take lightly. Turn off your electronics, grab a book and read yourself to sleep the old-fashioned way.

In Health and Happiness,

Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods


Shahrad Taheri, MBBS, PhD. Losing 30 Minutes of Sleep per Day May Promote Weight Gain and Adversely Affect Blood Sugar Control. Endocrine Society, March 5, 2015.

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