Sommeil et prise de poids : le lien existe-t-il ? - Epycure

BIEN-ETRE Sleep and weight gain: is there a link?

3min reading time

Sleep is an important time of the day because it performs many functions for your health and plays a role in balancing your weight . A lack of sleep has immediate repercussions on our state of fatigue, our stress level, our mood, and our weight. Indeed, it not only conditions the secretion of certain hormones linked to satiety, but also impacts the practice of physical activities. Quality and sufficient sleep allows us to be in good health and lose some calories because it is linked to the regulation of our body.

This article explains why poor sleep has an impact on weight regulation.

1. Sleep and hormones: what is the connection?

According to a study carried out by researchers at Laval University in Quebec, people who sleep an average of 5-6 hours per night are at risk of being overweight!

Several hormones affect weight management including ghrelin, cortisol, insulin and leptin. When you benefit from natural sleep , the body secretes these four hormones in sufficient quantities to carry out their functions. Thus, your food intake meets your energy needs and your nutritional balance will therefore not suffer any imbalance. However, in people who sleep very little (duration less than or equal to 6 hours) or a lot (10 hours or more), hormonal synthesis is affected, which immediately impacts eating habits and therefore weight balance. This is explained in particular by an abundant secretion of ghrelin, cortisol and insulin. The body will be faced with a considerable deficiency of leptin, the hormone responsible for satiety.

2. The consequences

  • Ghrelin : It regulates psychological hunger and the excess of this hormone generates an exaggerated appetite, followed by a strong preference for high-calorie, low-nutrition meals ( a food supplement may then be necessary);
  • Cortisol : a hormone that causes stress , it increases appetite and triggers a form of dependence on sugary foods;
  • Insulin : an excessive quantity of insulin within the body causes weight gain in the waist and stomach as well as insomnia and sleep problems;
  • Leptin : conditions satiety, leptin deficiency causes a feeling of not being full, which increases the quantity of food ingested.

Data from an experiment carried out by researchers also showed that in just four days, sleep deprivation of three hours per night significantly disrupts lipid metabolism. This experiment showed that lack of sleep carries a risk of cardio-metabolic complications such as a reduction in the sensitivity of cells, particularly adipocytes, to insulin.

To summarize, when you sleep a lot or not enough, the body suffers a hormonal imbalance which causes an appetite disorder and a reduction in satiety. Added to this is remarkable stress as well as sleep problems followed by excessive consumption of high-calorie, sugary and non-nutritious foods. All these changes inevitably cause weight gain which can lead to obesity .

3. The relationship with physical activity

In addition, the quantity and quality of sleep can also impact the practice of sporting activities. When you sleep little or your nights are disturbed, the effects are felt during the day. Fatigue remains a major cause of weight gain. It limits your ability to perform a lot of movement or physical exercise. Sport is strongly linked to maintaining the line.

Finally, the less energy you expend by practicing physical activity, the more you take the risk of an imbalance within your body and increasing your weight.

To remedy sleep problems and thus weight gain, here are some practical tips:

  • 6 hours before going to bed: avoid drinks containing tea, coffee or other stimulants.
  • At least 3 hours before going to bed: eat a balanced meal.
  • About 1 hour before going to bed: practice physical activity during the day and turn off the screens.

You can also use natural plant -based treatments (favor organic plants) such as valerian, passionflower, griffonia or hawthorn which can then be taken to reduce stress and effectively find sleep. You can also consult a specialist doctor or naturopath.

These methods will allow you to fall asleep more easily and thus regulate your weight gain and fight against obesity!

You will be able to receive adequate treatment focused on minerals or vitamins to meet your needs. All you need to do is answer our questionnaire to resolve your sleep problems.