If you're experiencing unexplained weight loss, it may be a good idea to examine your sleep patterns. Recent research has found interesting links between weight issues and sleep.
Unexplained Weight Loss Resulting from Sleep Deprivation
One explanation for unexplained weight loss may be that you are not sleeping enough. However, this is usually only a plausible explanation if your waking hours are filled with calorie-burning activities. If you are in a new pattern of sleeping only a few hours each night and are highly active during most of your day without consuming extra calories, your unexpected weight loss could be due to your new habit of sleeping less.
Unexplained Weight Loss and Adequate Sleep
On the other hand, recent studies indicate that when you do get enough sleep, your body experiences physiological changes that assist your efforts to lose weight. When you are sleep deprived, your body is more apt to generate hormones that increase your appetite and reduce your ability to feel full.
In this scenario, if you are generally sleep deprived and then change your sleeping habits to that of getting adequate rest each night, your body will make new adjustments. You will very likely feel less hungry than you normally do. You will also feel full faster than normal, consuming less food. These factors can combine to result in unexplained weight loss.
Therefore, the relationship between sleep and weight is complicated. The best way to determine whether or not your unexplained weight loss is related to sleeping patterns is to tune into your personal habits. Keep track of how many hours you're sleeping each night and see if this impacts your eating patterns and activity level.
For optimal health, you will want to sleep about 7 to 8 hours each night. If you are unable to determine the cause of your unexplained weight loss, be sure to consult a medical professional.