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Sleep Duration Effects on Weight Reduction and Cravings in the GLOBESITY Bootcamp for the Obese

Sleep Duration Effects on Weight Reduction, Cravings and Diabetes (by Don Juravin)

Authors: Marcus Free MD, Rouzbeh Motiei-Langroudi MD, Waqar Ahmad PhD, and Don Juravin (Don Karl Juravin).

8 Hours Sleep

The GLOBESITY Bootcamp requires its members to sleep well for 8 hours per day during the weight loss procedure. Research shows that men and women consume 15.3% and 9.2% more calories, respectively, when deprived of sleep (from an average of 8 hours per night to 4 hours per night). For an average intake of 1,900 calories per day, this can lead to a weight gain of 250g to 500g (0.55 lb to 1 lb) per week, and 13 kg to 26 kg (28 lbs to 57 lbs) per year. 

Scientific background

Fat is primarily metabolized in the liver, but also in other tissues including kidneys and spleen. The byproducts and end products of fat metabolism are then expelled through the lungs and urine (Meerman & Brown 2014, Jowett 1935). The energy produced from fat is used to maintain resting energy expenditure. During sleep, the body continues to break down fat which is breathed out as carbon dioxide.

8 Hours Sleep Effects on Weight Reduction

Sleep deprivation increases an individual’s risk of gaining 15kg (33 lbs) by 12% to 32%, and of becoming obese by up to 40%.

  • A 12% to 32% increased risk of gaining 15 kg (33 lbs) weight and up to 40% risk of obesity is associated with sleeping 5 to 6 hours per night as opposed to a sleep duration of 7 to 8 hours per night (Patel 2006, Xiao 2013).
  • Sleep deprivation results in 6.2 kg (13.2 lbs) weight gain over 3 years secondary to late-night snacking, increased fat consumption, decreased physical activity, and increased reward foods (Patel 2012).
  • Sleeping less than 8 hours per night increases fatigue and decreases physical activity output, as shown in a review article comprising 36 studies (Patel 2012). If one exercise session burns 170 calories, missing 5 exercise sessions per week due to fatigue would lead to 5 kg to 6 kg (12 lbs to 13 lbs) weight gain over a year.
  • Short-duration sleepers (5 to 6 hours) are 35% more likely to experience a 5 kg (11 lbs) weight gain, as compared with average-duration (7 to 8 hours) sleepers over 6 years (Chaput 2008).
  • Sleep deprivation attenuates the effects of weight-loss diets. Well-rested overweight individuals lost more fat than those who were sleep-deprived in a weight loss program (Nedeltcheva 2010).
  • Shorter sleep duration (less than 7 hours per night) is associated with a higher risk of weight gain in women, regardless of activity levels (Patel 2006).
  • Sleep-deprived individuals are more likely to have lower daily physical activity and miss exercise sessions (Horne 2011, Nielsen 2011), therefore resulting in weight gain.
  • Obesity risk is 27% less for those sleeping 8 hours per night, as compared to short-duration sleepers (5 to 6 hours) (Chaput 2008).
sleep and lose weight

Sleep Deprivation Effects on Increased Caloric Intake

Sleep deprivation negatively affects appetite and satiety hormones, ghrelin and leptin, resulting in increased calorie intake (by 22%) resulting in a 1 kg (2.2 lbs) weight gain per week.

  • Sleep deprivation results in a 22% higher calorie intake (~560 calories per day), resulting in a 1 kg (2.2 lbs) weight gain per week (Brondel 2010).
  • Women and men consume 15.3% and 9.2% more calories when deprived of sleep, respectively (St-Onge 2011). For an average intake of 1900 calories per day, this can lead to a weight gain of 500g to 750g (1 lb to 1.6 lbs) per week, and 26 kg to 39 kg (57 lbs to 86 lbs) per year. Moreover, women increase intake of saturated fat by 62% when deprived of sleep (St-Onge 2011).
  • One night of reduced sleep duration (4.5 hours per night) leads to an increase in ghrelin synthesis (increased appetite) but no change in leptin synthesis (satiety), resulting in an increase in food consumption (Schmid 2008).
  • Sleep deprivation causes an increased level of ghrelin and insulin resistance resulting in a higher BMI and increased risk of type 2 diabetes (Knutson 2008).
  • Sleeping well decreases ghrelin (hunger) and increases leptin (fullness) levels (Spiegel 2004). As a result, appetite is suppressed when sleep is increased (Spiegel 2004).

8 Hours Sleep Effects on Cravings

Sleep deprivation and associated stress create an artificial need for excessive energy. Maintaining 8 hours sleep per night alters the brain reward center resulting in decreased cravings.

  • Short term sleep patterns and inadequate sleep alter energy balance, resulting in hunger and uncontrolled cravings (Weiss 2010).
  • Sleep deprivation alters the brain reward center and circadian rhythm. This creates an imbalance in hormones and results in cravings for energy-dense foods like chocolate (Greer 2013).
  • Sleep deprivation and associated stress create an artificial need for excessive energy (Greer 2013). Most individuals, therefore, crave foods with a quick energy release, such as refined carbohydrates (Greer 2013).


  1. Brondel, L., Romer, M., Nougues, P., et al. (2010). Acute partial sleep deprivation increases food intake in healthy men. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition [online], 91 (6), pp. 1550-9. Available from: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/91/6/1550.full [Accessed 25.04.2016]. 
  2. Chaput, J., Despres, J., Bouchard, C. et al. (2008). The Association Between Sleep Duration and Weight Gain in Adults: A 6-Year Prospective Study from the Quebec Family Study. Sleep [online], 31 (4). Available from: http://www.journalsleep.org/Articles/310411.pdf [Accessed 25.04.2016]. 
  3. Greer, S., Goldstein, N., Walker, M. (2013). The impact of sleep deprivation on food desire in the human brain. Nature Communications [online], (4). Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3763921/ [Accessed 26.04.2016].
  4. Gluck, E., Venti, C., Salbe, A., et al. (2008). Nighttime eating: commonly observed and related to weight gain in an inpatient food intake study. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition [online], 88 (4), pp. 900-5. Available from: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/88/4/900.full [Accessed 19.04.2016]. 
  5. Horne, J. (2011). Obesity and short sleep: unlikely bedfellows? Obesity Reviews [online], 12 (5), pp. 84-94. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21366837 [Accessed 06.05.2016].
  6. Jowett, M., Quastel, J. (1935). Studies in fat metabolism: The formation and breakdown of acetoacetic acid in animal tissues. The Biochemical Journal [online], 29 (9), pp. 2181-91. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1266740/?page=1 [Accessed 25.04.2016]. 
  7. Knutson, K., Van Cauter, E. (2008). Associations Between Sleep Loss and Increased Risk of Obesity and Diabetes. New York Academy of Science [online], 1129, pp. 287-304. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4394987/ [Accessed 25.04.2016]. 
  8. Meerman, R., Brown, A. (2014). When somebody loses weight, where does the fat go?. BMJ [online], 349 pp. 7257. Available from: http://www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g7257. [Accessed 05.05.2016].
  9. Nedeltcheva, A., Kilkus, J., Imperial, J., et al. (2010). Insufficient Sleep Undermines Dietary Efforts to Reduce Adiposity. Annals of Internal Medicine [online], 153 (7) pp. 435. Available from: http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=746184 [Accessed 25.04.2016]. 
  10. Nielsen, L., Danielsen, K., Sørensen, T. (2011) Short sleep duration as a possible cause of obesity: critical analysis of the epidemiological evidence. Obesity Reviews [online], 12 (2), 78-92. Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-789X.2010.00724.x/abstract [Accessed: 06.05.2016].
  11. Patel, S., Malhotra, A., White, D., et al. (2006). Association between reduced sleep and weight gain in women. American Journal of Epidemiology [online], 164 (10), pp. 947-54. Available from: https://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/164/10/947.full [Accessed 18.04.2016].
  12. Patel, S., Frank, B. (2012). Short Sleep Duration and Weight Gain: A Systematic Review. Obesity [online], 16 (3), pp. 643-53. Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1038/oby.2007.118/full [Accessed 20.04.2016]. 
  13. Schmid, S., Hallschmid, M., Jauch-Chara, K., et al. (2008). A single night of sleep deprivation increases ghrelin levels and feelings of hunger in normal-weight healthy men. Journal of Sleep Research [online], 17 (3), pp. 331-4. Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2869.2008.00662.x/full [Accessed 25.04.2016]. 
  14. Spaeth, A., Dinges, D., Goel, N. (2013). Effects of Experimental Sleep Restriction on Weight Gain, Caloric Intake, and Meal Timing in Healthy Adults. Sleep Journal [online], 36 (7). Available from: http://www.med.upenn.edu/uep/user_documents/SLEEP369819902013..pdf [Accessed 25.04.2016]. 
  15. Spiegel, K., Tasali, E., Penev, P., et al. (2004). Brief Communication: Sleep Curtailment in Healthy Young Men Is Associated with Decreased Leptin Levels, Elevated Ghrelin Levels, and Increased Hunger and Appetite. Annals of Internal Medicine [online], 141 (11), pp. 846. Available from: http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=717987 [Accessed: 25.04.2016]. 
  16. St-Onge, M., Roberts, A., Chen, J., et al. (2011). Short sleep duration increases energy intakes but does not change energy expenditure in normal-weight individuals. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition [online], 94 (2), pp. 410-6. Available from: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/94/2/410.full [Accessed 25.04.2016]. 
  17. Weiss, A., Xu, F., Isser, A., et al. (2010). The association of sleep duration with adolescents’ fat and carbohydrate consumption. Sleep [online], 33 (9), pp.1201-9. Availalble from: http://www.fyiliving.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/teensleepsnack.pdf [Accessed 26.05.2016].
  18. Xiao,Q., Arem, H., Moore, S. et al. (2013). A large prospective investigation of sleep duration, weight change, and obesity in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study cohort. American Journal of Epidemiology [online], 178 (11), pp. 1600-10. Available from: http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/178/11/1600.short [Accessed 18.04.2016]. 


This research was sponsored by GLOBESITY FOUNDATION (nonprofit organization) and managed by Don Juravin. GLOBESITY Bootcamp for the obese is part of GLOBESITY FOUNDATION which helps obese with 70 to 400 lbs excess fat to adopt a healthy lifestyle and thereby achieve a healthy weight.

Tags: 8 hours sleep, weight reduction, GLOBESITY FOUNDATION, weight loss, cravings, healthy weight