How Sleep Affects Your Waistline

How Sleep Affects Your Waistline

More than ⅓ of adults in the US don’t get enough sleep, and it could be bad for the waistline.

📒 New research from Mayo Clinic shows that a lack of sleep combined with free access to food leads to higher calorie consumption and increased belly fat. 

In the study, participants were allowed either 9 hours in bed to sleep or 4 hours. After just 2 weeks, even in young and relatively lean adults, shortened sleep led to:

➡️ 300+ extra calories consumed per day

➡️ a 9% increase in total belly fat

➡️ an 11% increase in abdominal visceral fat

Why does it matter that we specify “visceral fat?”

It’s because when a person gains weight, the excess fat can either deposit just under the skin (called subcutaneous fat) or around the internal organs (called visceral fat). 

Visceral fat is the more dangerous type because it produces chemical messengers that disrupt metabolism, contribute to inflammation, and more. 

In this study, the visceral fat was only detected by a CT scan and would’ve otherwise been missed. It shows that shortened sleep is wreaking havoc on the metabolism even if the effects are subtle.

🛏️ So next time you’re tempted to stay up into those wee hours doing whatever it is you think is fun to do….you might want to think again. 

Your metabolism and waistline will thank you.


Covassin N, Singh P, McCrady-Spitzer SK, et al. Effects of Experimental Sleep Restriction on Energy Intake, Energy Expenditure, and Visceral Obesity. J of the American College of Cardiology. 2022. [link]

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