How does sleep affect metabolism?


Do nothing and burn more calories? Seems too good to be true. But here's the way to make it so: Go to bed. A study revealed that people had significantly slower metabolisms the morning after a sleepless night.

Slow, Sleepy Metabolisms

In the study, male college students participated in two different sleep experiments. One group got a normal night's sleep -- about 8 hours -- while the other group stayed awake all night. And the morning after, researchers found that the metabolic rate of the all-nighters was about 20% lower during breakfast digestion. Not only that, but also the people who didn't get any sleep had higher blood sugar levels, higher stress hormones, and more hunger-triggering ghrelin in their systems. And, not surprisingly, they felt hungrier the morning after not sleeping.

Energy Influence

We know from other research that subpar sleep comes with a greater risk of weight gain. But this study offers insight into some possible reasons why, highlighting the way that sleep affects our metabolic rate -- the rate at which our bodies burn calories -- as well as a whole bunch of body systems linked to energy levels and hormones that can influence our eating habits.

Continue Learning about Healthy Sleeping

Healthy Sleeping

Healthy Sleeping

Healthy sleep isn't just about getting enough sleep; getting the right kind counts, too. While you sleep your brain stays active, and it actually takes several stages of sleep to make you feel well and refreshed. Just how much sle...

ep we need changes as we age, from 16 to 18 hours a day for newborns to 7 to 8 hours a night for adults. If you find yourself feeling tired or fatigued during the day even after a full night in bed, you may have a sleep disorder. See your family doctor or a sleep specialist for help.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.