'I'm a sleep consultant and a bad sleeping habit is linked to being obese - your weight may be impacted very quickly'

Woman sleeping / Woman measuring waist

Not getting enough sleep could deter your weight loss goals

Anna Barry

By Anna Barry

Published: 31/03/2024

- 07:00

A good night's sleep may be the secret to effective weight loss, according to an expert

A healthy sleep schedule has many benefits. From reducing stress to lowering your risk for serious health problems like diabetes and heart disease, getting a good night's sleep is one of the best things you can do for overall well-being.

Cultivating a healthy sleep routine is also integral for maintaining a healthy weight. A sleep consultant told GB News that people who want to slim down should avoid the bad habit of not getting enough shuteye.

Alison Cullen, who works as a sleep consultant and nutritionist, said: "Shorter sleep durations have repeatedly been shown as being related to overweight, obesity, and central obesity."

On the other hand, "research suggests that the more adequate one’s sleep duration, the greater the success of lifestyle interventions such as diet and exercise in tackling being overweight".

Woman sleeping

Adults aged 18 and above should aim for seven hours or more


As for how much sleep people should be getting per night, Sleep Foundation says that adults aged 18 and above should aim for seven hours or more.

Cullen continued: "Although we can survive and function with less than the ideal amount of sleep, our weight may be impacted very quickly.

"On the other hand, extending short sleep duration has been shown to reduce sugar cravings and intake of sugary food."

The sleep expert suggested that not getting enough sleep may make you more inclined to give in to junk food cravings during the day.

She explained: "Researchers have found impaired activity in the brain’s frontal lobe when someone is sleep-deprived, and it is this area that governs complex decision-making.

"Increased activity is seen in deeper brain centres that respond to ‘rewards’ such as unhealthy snacks and junk foods when someone is sleep-deprived.

"It has also been shown that even moderate sleep deprivation can cause more impulsive behaviour, making more mistakes, and being more likely to make poor decisions. This in itself can make it harder to stick to weight loss commitments and a healthy eating regimen."

Getting enough sleep has a plethora of health benefits aside from weight management.

Quality sleep is important for cardiac health. Sleep Foundation experts explained: "During sleep, heart rate slows down, and blood pressure decreases. This means that during sleep, the heart and vascular system are able to rest.

"However, insufficient sleep is a risk factor for unwanted cardiovascular events. Lack of sleep causes blood pressure to remain high for an extended period of time, increasing the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and heart failure."


Woman sleeping

Getting enough sleep will likely reduce your sugar cravings throughout the day


Other benefits of sleep include regulated blood sugar, improved mental function, a restored immune system, better athletic performance, stress relief, and mood improvement.

There are plenty of ways Britons can lose weight in addition to working on their sleeping habits.

Slimmers have been warned that they should not be drinking their calories. Britons who want to lose weight should ditch popular beverages that are "full of sugar".

A nutritionist named the three refined carbohydrates slimmers should avoid for weight loss results, stating that this could be a "significant help".

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