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How does lack of sleep affect your weight loss goals


Insulin Resistance and Sleep Deprivation

Insulin resistance is defined as the body’s inability to respond to normal actions of insulin. The role of insulin in the body is to trigger glucose (sugar) to be taken up the cells to be used as energy in the cellular processes. Where there is insulin resistance this process is flawed hence the glucose (sugar) remains in the blood instead of the cells taking it up. The release of insulin is triggered by the presence of carbohydrates but because the carbohydrates (sugar) is not used effectively the body is tricked to keep producing insulin. This state of insulin resistance leads to high blood sugar levels and is considered a pre diabetes condition.

  1. The beta cells in the pancrease are responsible for producing insulin, so they keep producing insulin resulting in even higher levels of insulin. Insulin resistance is caused by many factors. In this blog we will discuss sleep deprivation and the incidence of insulin resistance.The most common sysmptoms of insulin resistance are;- Brain fogginess
    – High blood pressure
    – Sleepiness esp after meals
    – Weight gain, fat storage, difficulty losing weight
    – Increased blood triglycerides levels
    – Increased pro
    – inflammatory cytokines associated with cardiovascular diseaseSleep is important for our bodies to rest and for necessary biochemical processes to take place. Sleep deprivation has been implicated as a causation factor to insulin resistance. This is because chemicals called acetylcarnitines are increased when then is sleep deficiency. These chemicals work inside the cell to help produce energy and increase the body’s response to insulin. They have a pro inflammatory effect on the body. Acetycarnitines reduce metabolism because they reduce the effectiveness of energy production.
  2. In this study there was a direct correlation between sleeping for less than 5 hours per night and increased production of acetylcarnitines. This raises interesting dilemma for nightshift workers or those that seem to chronically function on less sleep? Developing good sleep hygiene will improve your health but more so help with your weight loss goals. Sleep deprivation has been shown to reduce the efficiency of mitochondria, affects liver and muscles. This in turn affects metabolism as well as reduced energy output as the mitochondria is made inefficient.Is your inability to loose weight got to do with those long nights? or even the insomnia you have been experiencing? Other studies have shown a direct link between sleep loss and increased C- reactive protein, increased insulin resistance .


  1. R. Vanden Berg et al, Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, 589(2016)145-151)
  2. Meier-Ewertet al, Journal of the American College of Cardiology,Vol 43,No.4 , 2004

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