Going to Sleep Late May Increase Risk of Obesity, Studies Show

Going to sleep late may increase your risk of obesity. Studies show that sleep disorders cause hormonal imbalances and energy imbalances that can lead to this metabolic disorder. Learn more here!
Going to Sleep Late May Increase Risk of Obesity, Studies Show

Last update: 22 July, 2021

Believe it or not, going to sleep late may increase a person’s risk of obesity.

To understand this relationship, we must start by recognizing that obesity is a very relevant public health problem today. This condition can significantly increase the risk of suffering cardiovascular, metabolic, and central nervous system health problems.

According to a study, the relationship obesity has with sleep is related to the quantity and quality of sleep. According to the research, the current work dynamic has led people to reduce the hours of rest, which has been reflected in the increase of overweight and obesity rates.

Obesity is a very complex disease that interacts with multiple factors, such as genetic, environmental, social, and emotional factors. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes it as an epidemic that particularly affects developing countries.

Lack of sleep in modern times

The aforementioned study relates sleep to the probability of suffering from obesity, which seems to expand as working life takes hours away from rest.

This decrease in sleep time is related to the excessive use of electric lights and electronic devices such as cell phones, tablets, and computers. There’s also in direct link with increased labor demand, night shifts in certain jobs, and transmeridian travel.

But there’s more. Lack of sleep nowadays is also related to mood, personal problems, and stress. This predisposes us to acute or even chronic episodes of insomnia.

Why do we feel hungry?

The sensations of hunger, satiety, and energy balance are regulated by the neuroendocrine system which is integrated at the hypothalamic level. Moreover, they’re a manifestation of the organism seeking to satisfy its nutritional needs.

Research shows that when this system fails, metabolic problems such as obesity or malnutrition can occur at the other extreme. When we go to sleep late or suffer from acute or chronic episodes of insomnia, the body begins to increase its metabolic requirements.

This is why it’s ideal for people with active nocturnal schedules to have a specific diet and engage in physical activity. In order to counteract the effects of the imbalance.

A woman eating at night
The nocturnal desire to eat is linked to alterations in metabolism and hormones, which doctors also link with insomnia.

How does lack of sleep relate to obesity?

A study points out that sleep is essential for hormones to properly synchronize. These hormones have specific circadian patterns. When this pattern is broken, due to lack of sleep because the person goes to sleep late, it alters their function.

When this occurs, it affects the energy balance that influences body weight, which must have a balance between energy consumption and expenditure. The short duration of sleep would affect this balance and produce metabolic disorders, such as obesity.

Thus, it’s evident that going to sleep late could increase the risk of obesity, due to the famous sleep debt. This concept is characterized by the few hours spent sleeping. This situation tends to be reiterative as people then sleep less and less each night.

How many hours should we sleep?

According to experts in sleep hygiene, the number of hours varies according to the stage of the life cycle. Adults should sleep between 7 and 8 hours. For newborns, this is between 16 and 18 hours. For preschool children, it’s between 11 and 12, and for adolescents about 10 hours.

This is in order to recover energy and help the body to carry out the metabolic and endocrine processes we’ve already talked about. In addition, sleeping well reduces daytime fatigue, the likelihood of overactivity due to motor activity failures and physical and emotional disorders, as well as poor work or academic performance.

But it’s not just about getting the right amount of sleep. There’s also a problem if you’re altering the circadian rhythm, because it’s also harmful to go to sleep late, even if you get the full 8 hours your body needs.

Tips for a healthy life

Have you ever wondered how to have a healthier life, including sleep hygiene? Well, here are some tips that will contribute to it and impact the quality of your life, thereby decreasing the risk of obesity.


Self-care is based on the decisions that each person makes for their physical, emotional and mental well-being. Taking care of oneself is fundamental and will be the key to take forward any other advice or recommendation.

Helping each other improve your habits

The actions of those around us have a big impact; even more so if they’re oriented to helping and supporting each other. In the specific case of sleep, talk about it with your partner, children, and family members and try to help each other to improve habits.

Healthy environments

This point is very important for healthy living. Going to sleep late could increase the risk of obesity, not only because of the fact of sleeping outside the right hours but also because the environment has an influence.

Thus, you must create healthy surroundings or good environmental conditions. In addition to choosing a precise bedtime, it’s necessary to consider distracting factors. Turn off the lights, it’s best not to have a TV in the room and keep the cell phone far away.

Similarly, studies indicate that external sound, such as vehicular sound, can affect the quality of sleep. So make sure that your place of rest is also isolated from sounds that may prevent you from sleeping well.

Have a healthy diet

Healthy eating is fundamental to feeling good and having a healthy life. The way you feel physically affects your mental and psychological state. In fact, there are some nutritional strategies that help fight insomnia, as studies have shown.

A healthy diet takes into account that there are products that can lead you to stay up late, such as caffeine, tea, guarana, cocoa, or mate. It’s not a matter of eliminating them completely, but reducing concentration and avoid consuming them close to bedtime.


Just like food is essential, so is a bit of physical activity. This will help us feel more comfortable with the things we do. In addition to improving our quality of life, we will also gain energy.

It’s the direct vehicle to reduce the risk of obesity. Studies indicate that physical activity reduces the variables of insomnia and hypersomnia.

Going to sleep late may indeed increase one’s risk of obesity

As you read throughout this article, sleeping late may indeed increase the risk of obesity. Although the direct relationship between sleep and obesity is still under study, it has been shown that the greatest impact is at the hormonal level.

In addition, by going to sleep late and getting used to it, we modify eating hours and consume more calories. All this generates an imbalance that affects weight, alertness, and motor processes.

Here, the most important thing is that you follow the advice to have a healthier life, as well as good sleep habits. Your body and mind will thank you for it!

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