Can Just One Bad Night's Sleep Tank Your Weight Loss Efforts?

Bad Sleep Hurts Weight Loss

Everyone knows that a good night's sleep does a body good. Now, results of a new study show that even one night of tossing and turning or burning the candle at both ends can put a dent in your weight loss efforts.

Conducted by the Hengyi Rao, an assistant professor in the division of sleep and chronobiology at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine, the study revealed that just one night of sleep loss can alter function within the brain's salience network, a cognitive pathway that scientists believe guides decision-making - including food choices.

Researchers enlisted 46 healthy, nonsmoking and mostly non-obese adults aged 21-50 for a four-night, five-day series of sleep studies conducted in a laboratory. On the first night each of the participants enjoyed a full night's rest. After nine hours in bed, each underwent a brain scan to record normal network function following a night of adequate sleep. On the second night, 34 of the participants were randomly selected to be kept awake all night, while the remaining participants slept for eight hours. The next day, brain scans were again conducted and participants were allowed to move about, watch television, read, play board or video games and eat as they pleased.

 The results: Those in the sleep-deprived group consumed upward of 950 extra calories after the night of no sleep, compared to the night following a good night's rest. Further, sleep-deprived participants chose foods that were significantly higher in fat and lower in carbohydrates than those who had slept well the prior night.  Thus, it appears that skipping just a single night of sleep can trigger a shift in brain activity that sparks a hankering for higher-fat foods.

Study results back up a known relationship between a prolonged lack of sleep and the risk of obesity. That's why expert weight loss counselors with Metabolic Research Center focus on three primary factors in developing healthy lifestyles - a nutritious diet, plenty of exercise and adequate sleep. To jumpstart your weight loss journey, call 800-501-8090 and schedule an appointment at the location nearest you.


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