How Does Sleep Affect Your Metabolism?

How Does Sleep Affect Your Metabolism?

We all know sleep is important, but it’s even more vital than you might think. Research shows that losing sleep could be affecting your metabolism and causing weight gain and many other health issues. Many people simply don’t get enough sleep. Experts recommend that adults should get 7-9 hours of sleep per night, but about a third of Americans are only getting 6 hours of sleep or less. If you’ve been sleep deprived, now’s the time to start getting more rest.

What is metabolism?

Metabolism is defined as all the chemical processes in the body. The metabolic rate is how fast calories are burned. There is a certain number of calories required to keep you alive with all your organs functioning at rest, the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). The speed of metabolism varies person to person and many factors will affect your metabolic rate, such as age, muscle mass, physical activity, and hormones (1)(2)(3)(4). One study showed a decrease in resting metabolic rate in people with only 4 hours of sleep for 5 nights in a row, then returning to normal after 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep (5).

What are the effects of poor sleep?

Weight gain – Studies have shown those who lack sleep are more likely to gain weight or become obese (6)(7). Poor sleep is also associated with heightened cravings and may throw off balance of metabolic hormones that regulate hunger (8).

Heart disease – Much research has concluded that people who get little sleep have a higher risk of heart disease and stroke (9).

Insulin resistance – Sleep deprivation has shown to have negative effects on blood sugar and increase risk of type 2 diabetes (10). Research shows sleep deprived individuals to have lower glucose tolerance and signs of prediabetes (10).

Immunity – The body produces infection-fighting substances called cytokines while you sleep. Lack of sleep prevents the immune system from being able to fight off bacteria and viruses and then also takes longer to recover from illness (11). Research shows that people who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as a common cold (11).

What are some healthy sleep habits?

1. Set a sleep schedule and stick to it.

2. Stop scrolling and turn off electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime.

3. Avoid caffeine for several hours before bedtime.

4. Exercise regularly, which promotes more restful sleep but do it earlier in the day.

5. Create a relaxing bedroom, like a comfy bed in a cool room that’s quiet and dark.

Which supplements can help with sleep?

Melatonin – naturally regulated in the body, rising and falling during specific times of the day. Melatonin production can be disrupted by many factors including an inconsistent sleep schedule. Persona’s low-dose supplement supplies the body with its natural sleep hormone.

Herbal Rest – a powerful combination of 3 key ingredients working in different ways to help you fall and stay asleep: Magnesium citrate (one of the most bioavailable forms that promotes muscle relaxation), L-theanine (can lower anxiety to help you fall asleep), and hops flower extract (to help you stay asleep).

L-Tryptophan – an essential amino acid that assists with creating proteins and brain-signaling hormones. L-tryptophan gets converted to serotonin in the body, which can help improve sleep and overall mood.

5-HTP – 5-hydroxytryptophan, or 5-HTP, is used by the body to create a chemical called serotonin. Serotonin is well known to enhance mood and is a target of pharmaceutical antidepressants. Serotonin can also improve sleep and pain by supporting the function of the central nervous system.

Ashwagandha – an adaptogenic herb (natural substances that help the body adapt to stress and exert a normalizing effect upon bodily processes). It is derived from the root of a plant related to tomatoes and potatoes. Persona’s Sensoril® Ashwagandha has been shown to help boost energy, improve sleep, mood, overall vitality.

Whether you’re looking for natural supplements to support your sleep or you have other concerns, Persona offers a better way to get better vitamins. The best part is that we have options for you. Start by taking our free 3 to 5-minute assessment to get personalized vitamin recommendations based on your unique needs. Or if you already know what you need, try our convenient Essential pre-packs. Ready to have the right vitamins for you delivered right to your door? Get Recommendations or See Essential Packs.


1. Fukagawa NK, Bandini LG, Young JB. Effect of age on body composition and resting metabolic rate. Am J Physiol. 1990;259(2 Pt 1):E233-8.

2. Zurlo F, Larson K, Bogardus C, Ravussin E. Skeletal muscle metabolism is a major determinant of resting energy expenditure. J Clin Invest. 1990;86(5):1423-7.

3. Knab AM, Shanely RA, Corbin KD, Jin F, Sha W, Nieman DC. A 45-minute vigorous exercise bout increases metabolic rate for 14 hours. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2011;43(9):1643-8.

4. Weaver JU. Classical endocrine diseases causing obesity. Front Horm Res. 2008;36:212-28.

5. Spaeth AM, Dinges DF, Goel N. Resting metabolic rate varies by race and by sleep duration. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2015;23(12):2349-56.

6. Cappuccio FP, Taggart FM, Kandala NB, et al. Meta-analysis of short sleep duration and obesity in children and adults. Sleep. 2008;31(5):619-26.

7. Shechter A, O’keeffe M, Roberts AL, Zammit GK, Roychoudhury A, St-onge MP. Alterations in sleep architecture in response to experimental sleep curtailment are associated with signs of positive energy balance. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2012;303(9):R883-9.

8. Taheri S, Lin L, Austin D, Young T, Mignot E. Short sleep duration is associated with reduced leptin, elevated ghrelin, and increased body mass index. PLoS Med. 2004;1(3):e62.

9. Cappuccio FP, Cooper D, D’elia L, Strazzullo P, Miller MA. Sleep duration predicts cardiovascular outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies. Eur Heart J. 2011;32(12):1484-92.

10. Spiegel K, Leproult R, Van cauter E. Impact of sleep debt on metabolic and endocrine function. Lancet. 1999;354(9188):1435-9.

11. Besedovsky L, Lange T, Born J. Sleep and immune function. Pflugers Arch. 2012;463(1):121-37.


This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Do not use the information from this article for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read in this article.

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