The Sleep-Metabolism Connection

Let’s start putting the metabolism puzzle together with sleep😴

Fun(sized) Fact: sleep itself does not increase metabolism, at least not like a good workout does. In fact, metabolism actually slows by about 15% during sleep to allow for the body to repair itself.🤯

Now, before you start tossing your pillows in frustration, hear me out. While it might seem counterintuitive, catching those Z's is still absolutely essential. Our bodies are incredibly complex, and it's important to understand that we can't simplify our habits based on just one small piece of information.

Despite the temporary slowdown in metabolism during sleep, quality rest plays a crucial role in overall metabolic health. Without this piece, the effectiveness of the strategies we'll discuss in the upcoming lessons might be compromised. So, let's dive into the fascinating relationship between sleep and metabolism.⬇️

Sleep influences the release and balance of various hormones. When you don't get enough shut-eye, these little messengers can go haywire:

​​1️⃣ Hunger Hormones

Let's look at leptin and ghrelin – the appetite tag team. When you're short on Z's, ghrelin (the "I'm hungry" hormone) goes up, and leptin (the "I'm full" hormone) goes down, making you more likely to raid the fridge at midnight. 

2️⃣ Insulin

When you’re sleep deprived, your body essentially becomes less sensitive to insulin. When the body becomes less sensitive to insulin(aka insulin resistance), it struggles to regulate blood sugar levels efficiently. 

While insulin resistance doesn't directly put the brakes on metabolism, it sure throws a wrench in the balance of other hormones involved, messing with the overall metabolic flow.

3️⃣ Cortisol

Sleep is essential for managing stress. Without it, stress levels skyrocket. This triggers the release of cortisol, your body's primary stress hormone.

Prolonged exposure to high cortisol levels can stir up some trouble. For example, it can lead to insulin resistance. And guess what? Leptin and ghrelin make a cameo here too, promoting the storage of abdominal fat, as an energy reserve.

Overall, the stress response triggered by lack of sleep can set off a chain reaction of hormonal and metabolic issues. 

4️⃣ Growth Hormone

And then there's growth hormone, the nighttime superhero that helps with muscle growth and recovery. But guess what? Lack of sleep compromises GH, affecting muscle repair and overall recovery. 

When any of these hormones are out of sync, it can lead to overeating, poor recovery, lack of motivation, and sluggishness —which ultimately ain't great for your metabolism. So0o, it's important to prioritize good quality sleep as it's a foundational piece to your overall health and happiness.


  • Stick to a Routine: Aim for consistent bedtime and wake-up times.
  • Limit distractions: Keep light and sounds out of the bedroom, including T.V., computers, and phones.
  • Decrease screen time: Make a pact to not look at screens at least one hour before bedtime. Or invest in a good pair of blue-light blocking glasses. 
  • Exercise: Exercise consistently, but avoid exercising too close to bedtime.
  • Strategic Napping:  If you nap, do it before 2 p.m..
  • Get some sun: Tune into your circadian rhythm by soaking in some morning sunlight to kickstart your day and wind down naturally in the evening.
  • Chill Vibes: Develop a relaxation routine – a bath or a good book might do the trick.
  • Sleep Sanctuary: Create an optimal sleep environment with a cool, dark bedroom.
  • Tech-Free Zone: Keep distracting gadgets out of reach at bedtime.
  • When All Else Fails: it's time for a chat with your doctor.

Complete and Continue