Is Poor Sleep Causing You to Gain Weight?

The Journal of Obesity did a study that really hit home for me. They took two groups of adults –one was sleep deprived and the other had slept soundly. Researchers fed both groups a large meal, just to make sure that they weren’t physically hungry.

Then they sent the two groups to the grocery store. Sleep deprived adults ended up with 1,200 more calories of food than the ones who had plenty of restorative, high quality sleep.

A recent Swedish study echoed these same results, proving that people who are sleep deprived eat larger portions than those who are well rested.

Are you surprised? I’m not because I’ve worked with thousands of people with weight loss and health issues and it’s amazing how many are struggling with sleep deprivation issues.

For some, it’s difficulty falling asleep. For others, it’s challenging to get back to sleep after waking in the night. Regardless of the pattern, insomnia can be debilitating.

But could lack of sleep be linked to weight gain? After doing the research, I’m convinced that the answer is yes!

Six Reasons Lack of Sleep Makes You Gain Weight

1. The Longer You’re Awake, The More Food You Eat

The University of Pennsylvania conducted a week long study proving that people who stayed up longer ate more. They took two groups of people. One group of subjects slept only 4 hours per night and other group slept 9 hours nightly. At the end of just 7 days, the group that had less sleep gained weight and the other group did not. The researchers attributed the weight gain to night eating, which didn’t occur for the group that went to bed earlier.

Senior man looking in refrigerator at night Original Filename: 73032480.jpg

2. When You’re Tired, You’re More Likely to Make Bad Choices

In a study at Harvard Medical School, scientists used brain scans in adult men and women who felt tired during the day. What they discovered is that being sleepy increased the likelihood of overeating since it lowered people’s inhibitions, much like alcohol does.

Columbia University researchers discovered similar findings by studying the brain function of both tired and rested individuals. They reported that when someone is tired and they eat junk or processed food, an area in their brain known as the insular cortex—a region necessary to empathize with another’s pain—is activated, creating an actual craving for sugary, oily or salty food.

3. Seeking Energy Through Food

Fatigue and being deprived of sleep makes you reach for food as a way to get more energy and try to feel better emotionally. A study at University of Nebraska concluded that after a sleepless night, you are more likely to eat more to compensate for feelings of fatigue, your hormones that control appetite are affected, you have more emotional stress, and you’re likely to consume more food than you normally would, had you slept well.

4. Sleeping Better Helps You Burn Fat

This research really shocked me! At University of Chicago a study on the link between obesity and insomnia proved that people who don’t sleep well not only eat more but they store more fat. According to this study, even though people who sleep less may lose weight, the findings of the UC researchers proved that the weight loss for less well-rested folks is likely to be water vs. fat. For those who had deep, restorative sleep, their weight loss was 50% fat loss.

5. Improves Your Metabolism

A study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported some pretty surprising results. Their research indicated that people who had high quality, deep sleep burned 5% more calories, not just while they were asleep, but also when they woke up, than people who slept poorly. That number rose to 20% more calories burnt after a meal!

6. Sleep Deprivation Increases Hunger

Being tired throws your blood sugar off balance and makes you want to eat more. In fact, another study from Columbia University researchers found that people who sleep less than 7 hours each night are not only heavier but they continue to gain more weight on a consistent basis and have much more difficulty shedding the excess weight.

To help increase your likelihood of falling asleep and staying asleep, here are 3 simple tips:

Avoid technology before bed

It’s so tempting to reach for your tablet, cell phone or computer, even in the late hours as you are heading for bed. But if you want to sleep soundly, it’s best to avoid doing so. The blue light that is emitted by your cell phone, computer and TV screens can impact your sleep in a negative way by affecting your body’s natural production of melatonin, a vital hormone for sleep. It’s recommended by sleep experts that you keep your bedroom a technology-free.

Meditate or Practice Self-Hypnosis Right Before Bed

rena meditating

Self-hypnosis and meditation calm the mind, relax the body and put you in a state of balance, which is conducive to falling and staying asleep. To train your body to fall back asleep quickly, if you do wake up in the night, use the time wisely. Place your hand on your chest, breathe in and out of your chest and let all your thoughts drop into your heart center. If you are sitting up, you may even bow your head to your chest, to allow the chatter to slow down. Breathe in colors and peaceful images from nature to help yourself fall back asleep. You may want to try my Sleep Better Self Hypnosis cd/Mp3 which we’ve had great feedback on.

Make Sure That Your Sleeping Surface is Giving You Good Restful Sleep


I struggled with insomnia myself until I finally found a mattress that gives me incredible support. I put off getting a new mattress as long as I could but when my friend and nutrition and health expert, Author and UCLA professor Susan Smith Jones, told me about the IntelliBed, I had to check it out. Learn more about IntelliBed in my article: One Secret To Health: Restorative Sleep With IntelliBed.

Did you know that most mattresses off-gas chemicals that are toxic? It’s true and it’s because mattress manufacturers are required to comply with strict fire retardant laws.

IntelliBed has no toxic chemicals because it’s made of a patented gel called Intelli-gel. This scientifically proven gel (used in hospital burn units for patients that require extreme comfort to avoid the excruciating pain of a burn) supports your body in the places where you need it the most, so you wake up rested and energized.


You spend 1/3 of your life sleeping, so it’s so important to make sure that you are not breathing in toxic chemicals that are keeping you awake and that you are in proper alignment so you can stay asleep all night long!

I loved the fact that the bed has a 60 day money back guarantee, and if you don’t like the bed, they’ll even come pick it up at no cost to you – that’s right the shipping is free – so I felt secure knowing I had nothing to lose.


I’m thrilled that Intellibed has agreed to give my readers and clients a 10% discount plus, to my surprise, they threw in an additional bonus gift worth $500 of two Intellibed pillows and a set of bamboo sheets.

Please tune in to Healthy Sleep and Weight Webinar to learn more about how and why the IntelliBed is so different and is truly the answer for high quality restorative, non toxic sleep.

Use my coupon code EasySleep at to get your discount and to learn more about IntelliBed.

To Your Health & Happiness,

About the Author RENA GREENBERG

Rena Greenberg has had the privilege over the last 25+ years to work with over 100,000 people in 75 medical centers to help them lose weight without surgery.

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