Researchers are finding a critical link between sleep and hormone production which influences your appetite. These hormones are called leptin and ghrelin.
Ghrelin, produced in the gastrointestinal tract, sends signals which influence appetite. Leptin which is produced in the fat cells sends signals which tell your body when you are full.
Lack of sleep results in the decrease of leptin and increase of ghrelin, with forseeable results.
Like djstam said, sleep controls hormones that help with weight loss. Ideally people should get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night. Getting less sleep than this increases the chance of obesity by 30 percent and average weight by 5 pounds. In one study, adults who slept for less time gained 4.4 pounds over the course of six years. Additionally, people who slept for more than 9 or 10 hours a night also had an increased risk for obesity.
Yes, sleeping does help you lose weight.
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It is a fact that sleep deprivation negatively impacts your metabolism leading to weight gain and obesity.
The longer stretches of period you spend awake, the more you tend to feel hunger and eat, usually reaching for quick foods, which are usually foods high in fat. To top it all off, your metabolism starts to slow down the more sleep deprived you become, which is an open door to weight gain.
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