How much you sleep can be just as important to you reaching your weight loss goal as how much you eat. When dealing with sleep deprivation, a cascade of reactions in your body is triggered that can interfere with everything you do to help you lose excess weight while you’re awake.

We’ll explain how in a moment, but let’s start with this fact: About 35 percent of U.S. adults are not getting the recommended minimum of seven hours of sleep each night, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Stress is a common cause of sleep loss, but lifestyle habits such as watching television or scrolling through social media while in bed, late-night eating and inconsistent bedtimes and waking hours have also been linked to reduced sleeping time. The more you can do to sleep a consistent seven or more hours per day, the stronger your likelihood of weight loss success.

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Here’s five ways sleep deprivation is slowing your weight loss:

1. Your hunger spikes.

When you’re constantly tired, your body’s levels of two appetite-regulating hormones, ghrelin and leptin, are changed, leaving you feeling hungry even when you’ve had enough food. “These differences in leptin and ghrelin are likely to increase appetite,” say research published in PLOS Medicine.

2. You’re more likely to choose fattening foods.

Sleep-deprived people are more likely to eat snacks high in carbohydrates, according to a study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. People who sleep less than the recommended seven hours each night “ate more calories and fat in snacks—nearly 1,000 calories and twice the fat—in the early evening compared to only 600 calories in snacks when they had a full night’s sleep,” conclude researchers at the University of Chicago.

3. Your body burns less fat.

Even when your body is burning off excess calories, lack of sleep changes the types of calories that you lose. Researchers, who reported their findings in the Annals of Internal Medicine, observed that subjects who don’t get enough sleep burn less fat—as much as 55 percent less—while their calorie consumption and overall diet may remain the same.

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4. You exercise less.

While no studies have clearly documented it, common sense and practical experience su