How Sleep Loss Causes Weight Gain

Updated: Oct 8, 2020



It may seem obvious that sleep is good for your health, but you may not be aware of the profound effect it has on your weight.  Sleep loss has been shown to spark cravings for fatty comfort foods and mess with your hunger-fullness hormones, causing you to consume more calories. Understandably, chronic sleep deprivation is linked to obesity and related diseases like Type 2 diabetes.  Now, a new study by Swedish researchers has found that sleep loss can affect your fat tissue at a molecular level. Key points of the study:

  • Researchers studied people’s fat tissue and skeletal muscle after they were sleep deprived.

  • People who lost a night of sleep had tissue-specific changes in DNA methylation that have been associated with obesity and Type 2 diabetes, as well as changes in genes that regulate adipose (fat) tissue function.

  • These changes in DNA can both be inherited and altered by your environment, but this study shows that sleep loss can be a trigger, too.

  • Those who got a normal night’s sleep didn’t show these changes.


In short, lack of sleep can cause a domino effect on your metabolism. If you’d like guidance on how to optimize your sleep, reach out to your Apeiron Life expert.

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