©2019 by Dr Maria Luque

  • Dr. Maria Luque

Sleep your Way to a Faster Metabolism

Updated: Nov 20, 2019

So by now you know that regular exercise and a healthy, balanced diet are essential to achieve your fitness and weight loss goals. But did you know that adequate amount of sleep can also affect your goals? Well it is…. sleep is probably the most overlooked component of health and fitness. According to Dr. Matthew Walker, "sleep is the single most effective thing we can do to reset our brain and body health each day." (Walker, 2017). Yet, more than 30% of Americans between ages of 30 - 64 report sleeping less than 6 hours per night (Van Cauter, et al., 2015), which is less than the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep. Your children need even more. To find out the recommendations for different age groups, check out this site

Several studies show that even a short period of sleep deprivation affects our memory, reaction time, and our ability to handle stress. In fact, one 10-year study of 70,026 women showed that those that slept less than 5 hours per night had a higher risk of being diagnosed with diabetes (Ayas, et al., 2003). Another meta-analysis of 30 studies concluded that children sleeping 10 hrs or less and adults sleeping 5 hours or less per night are at an increased risk for obesity (Cappuccio, et al., 2008)

Sleep has a key role in supporting a wide array of the body’s hormones and metabolism. Chronic sleep deprivation is often a factor in obesity. This is caused by several factors. First of all, people that sleep less tend to eat more because they have more time to eat and also tired individuals tend to eat more to combat exhaustion. Secondly, research indicates that sleep affects two important hormones that are related to appetite: ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin, which increases appetite, is higher with lack of sleep and leptin, which decreases hunger is lower with lack of sleep. In addition, sleep loss also increases the levels of circulating endocannabinoids, which are chemicals responsible for the "munchies" with marijuana use. In essence, people that don't get enough sleep lose "their hunger control" (Walker, 2017). That combination causes an individual to be more likely to overeat.

The data is very clear. If you don't get enough sleep, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage.

So do yourself a favor and sleep a little more!

Stay happy & healthy

– Dr. Maria Luque

Ayas NT, White DP, Al-Delaimy WK, Manson JE, Stampfer MJ, Speizer FE, et al. A prospective study of self-reported sleep duration and incident diabetes in women. Diabetes Care. 2003 Feb; 26(2):380–4.

Cappuccio FP, Taggart FM, Kandala NB, Currie A, Peile E, Stranges S, et al. Meta-analysis of short sleep duration and obesity in children and adults. Sleep. 2008 May 1; 31(5):619–26.

CDC. How much sleep do I need? (2017) https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/how_much_sleep.html

Van Cauter, E., Spiegel, K., Tasali, E., & Leproult, R. (2008). Metabolic consequences of sleep and sleep loss. Sleep medicine, 9 Suppl 1(0 1), S23–S28. doi:10.1016/S1389-9457(08)70013-3

Walker, M. (2017). Why We Sleep. New York, NY: Scribner. An Imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.