Want to lose weight? Just go to sleep!

Sounds too good to be true, right?

There may be a little more to it that just sleeping, but there's tons of medical evidence suggesting links between sleep and weight. Supposedly, how much you sleep and maybe even the quality of your sleep may orchestrate a whole host of hormonal activity that's tied to your appetite.

It's all about the hormones leptin and ghrelin. Doctors say they can both influence appetite, and studies say production of both may be influenced by how much or how little we sleep.

If you've ever had a sleepless night followed by a ravenous day, you maybe have been experiencing these effects.

So what does it mean for weight loss?


  • Sleep more - It's as easy as turning off the TV or computer an hour earlier and going to bed. Makes perfect sense if you're tired, but easier said than done. A comfortable, cozy bed can go a long way in getting you excited to hit the hay.



  • Don't turn to food - When you're tired with no energy, it's common to reach for a morning or afternoon pick-me-up, especially sweets and refined carbs. The quick rise in blood sugar may give you more short-term energy, but you may not really need those extra calories.



  • Push through exercise - If you haven't slept well, you may be too tired to exercise, which is understandable. Even if you do drag yourself to the gym, you probably won't work out as long or intensely as you need to. Try to find different ways throughout the day to be active - take a walk during your lunch break, play outside with your kids or do a relaxing yoga video at home.