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Article by Corinne Kepler

Losing weight by sleeping : YES, it’s possible!

Updated on 8 November 2023.

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Lose weight in your sleepCan you lose weight in your sleep? What kind of question is that? Well, there are two answers: a short one and a slightly longer one! To make a long story short, we’ll say NO, sleep doesn’t make you lose weight… But to explain it properly, we’ll say YES: you can lose weight while you sleep, but not in the way you might imagine. Sleep has long intrigued researchers, who have always tried to establish links between this state of non-activity and other aspects of human biology. Today, we’re interested in the link between sleep and weight loss. It seems that you can lose kilos just by sleeping.

To find out how you can really lose weight by sleeping, I invite you to read the following carefully, because, apparently, it works!

Losing weight in your sleep: we finally have the explanation…

Losing weight in your sleep introductionLosing weight in your sleep has long been a topic of discussion in weight loss circles, as well as in the research notebooks of many scientists. In fact, sleep has always aroused academic interest on many levels. Long and sometimes interminable studies have revealed many surprising things about this activity we do every day, automatically.

Before going any further, I’d like to explain the YES that I emphasized earlier! To do this, we need to think about sleep in terms of quality and quantity. Simply put, to lose weight, you need to sleep BETTER. This will help you stay slim, but will certainly make you put on weight if you sleep POORLY. So at, we prefer not to say that sleep makes you slim, but that you can lose weight by sleeping better!

What does science tell us about sleep?

Well, it always tells us a lot! In fact, the science of sleep still doesn’t seem to have discovered every nook and cranny, and researchers are still exploring the Temple of Sleep! We’re still trying to define the exact role of this activity, but it seems to have more than one after all. Sleeping is thought to play an important role in

  • Stimulation of hormonal secretion;
  • Maturation of the cerebral system;
  • Cell reconstruction and repair;
  • Consolidation of learning and memory functions;
  • Increased alertness;
  • Improves mood.

Losing weight through sleep - Sleep Cycle
A “normal” night’s sleep should consist of 4 to 6 successive “cycles”, each lasting 90 to 120 minutes. A sleep cycle is divided into 2 phases: a phase known as “slow wave” sleep and a second phase known as “REM sleep”. The latter is called “paradoxical” because it is characterized by bodily activity very similar to that of waking. We witness irregular breathing and heartbeat rhythms, as well as fluctuations in overall body temperature. This phase is also characterized by rapid eye movements and muscular atony.

I won’t go any further into the scientific explanation, but I’ll leave you with this interesting link to learn more about sleep: An entry about sleep on Wikipedia.

How does losing weight by sleeping work?

Losing weight by sleeping temple sleepIt’s all about hormones, by the way. The alternation of day and night, waking and sleeping, necessarily entails an alternation between the activity of certain hormones that play a very important role in regulating this activity.

For example, when we sleep, our bodies produce leptin, a hormone that makes us feel full and plays an active role in fat metabolism. So it’s during our nights of slumber that the bulk of the weight-loss work takes place. The body rests to repair and regenerate its muscles, but it also takes advantage of this time to break down excess fat.

When you’re awake, your body secretes another hormone: ghrelin. This hormone, on the other hand, creates a sensation of hunger and specifically whets our appetite for anything fatty and sweet. This is normal, as the body is looking for strength and, above all, energy. So let’s imagine what happens when we sleep less!

Well, quite simply, too little leptin and too much ghrelin are secreted. As a result, we rely more on fatty and sugary foods to compensate for the fatigue caused by sleep deprivation. This lack of sleep prevents our bodies from burning fat properly! By the way, it’s not a question of losing weight by sleeping, but rather of gaining weight by sleeping badly!

How to lose weight by sleeping: a short sleep guide!

Sleep maskIf you’d like to rethink your sleeping habits to save yourself some extra kilos and, above all, help your body get rid of them, here are a few tips. All you need to do is follow these few guidelines to keep the weight off and really lose weight in your sleep:

Restore your true internal clock

If you’ve missed a night’s sleep, it won’t do you much good to sleep during the day, even with the windows closed. In fact, our sleep has long been connected to the movements of the universe and the true alternation of night and day. Sunlight and darkness cannot be replaced by artificial lighting and curtains. Our sleep patterns have been considerably altered over time, and if we could restore them, everything would undoubtedly return to normal.

To do this, get out of the walls more often to expose your body to daylight. The presence or absence of sunlight is a good cue for your body to internalize.

Eat well and smart

Diet also plays an important role in sleep quality. As a general rule, everyone (or almost everyone) agrees that you should stop eating early in the evening. This will prevent the body from having to waste time processing food when it should be resting. Eating less and early in the evening will prepare you to lose weight better when you sleep.

Foods that promote the production of serotonin (the hormone of physical and mental well-being) are recommended. These include tryptophan, an amino acid found in pasta and lean lamb, chicken and turkey.

Exciting foods such as caffeine (coffee and tea), cola, energy drinks and chocolate should also be avoided beyond 3 p.m. The quality of sleep is strongly affected by these foods. This has a major impact on sleep quality.

Move more to sleep more!

Take the stairs instead of elevators and escalators. This will give you a bit of exercise you don’t have the luxury of affording yourself, in good form. Also consider getting off one or two stations before your usual bus or streetcar stop. This will give you more time to walk in the fresh air and, above all, in the sunlight.

Finally, if you can set aside a good part of your weekend for outdoor activities, go for it. And if you have a dog at home, you’re in luck: he’ll give you plenty of exercise!

Fewer technological tools, fewer screens…

If you really want to get a good night’s sleep and lose weight in your sleep, you’ll need to transform your bedroom into a veritable temple of sleep. Personally, I’ve never put a TV screen in that bedroom! Also, if you can leave your smartphone outside, that’s great! Scanning” your little screen with your eyes and finger in bed will only make things worse.

But technology can also be our friend! Programmable lighting that dims gradually at night and comes back on gradually in the morning is sure to help you sleep well. You should also choose to wake up with a light rather than an alarm!

Grandma’s recipe!

Herbal teas to lose weight while you sleep. Valerian, chamomile, passionflower, lime blossom, lemon balm, orange blossom… and many other plants are real sleep allies. Before succumbing to Morpheus, you can enjoy them while reading a short passage from your bedside book.

So, can I really lose weight by sleeping?

Yes, you can! If you can get a good night’s sleep, you may not even need to lift a finger during the day to lose weight. Once your internal clock has been reset and your metabolism rehabilitated, your body will take care of processing the bad fats that you’ve already avoided as much as possible by revisiting your eating habits. That said, good night!

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