Sleep and Weight Loss on the Keto Diet

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There’s lot’s of things that can affect your ability to drop those extra pounds, and sleep is a big one.

Stress and inflammation can make it difficult to lose weight, but getting a better night’s sleep can help offset those effects. Enough sleep is also important for maintaining a healthy weight in the long term.

Cat sleeping on a white blanket

The Importance of Sleep

Sleep and weight loss on the keto diet go together like hugs and kisses, or at least they should. Stress creates inflammation, which can lead to weight gain by upsetting your micro biome, and even reducing your ability to absorb important nutrients.

Lack of sleep amplifies the effects of stress. Keto dieters who don’t get enough shut-eye may find it harder to lose weight, even when following the strictest ketogenic diet.

On the other hand, getting a good night’s sleep can help reduce stress levels, which in turn may support weight loss on the keto diet. Keto dieters who make sleep a priority may find it easier to lose weight and keep it off in the long-term.

So, if you’re struggling to lose weight on the keto diet, consider taking a close look at your sleep habits. Just like diet and exercise, quality sleep is an important piece of the weight loss puzzle.

How Much Should I Sleep On the Keto Diet?

The keto diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that can help you lose weight. But if you’re not getting enough sleep, you may find it harder to lose weight. If you’re trying to lose weight, get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night.

A white analog clock on a table

How much Sleep do you need on Keto?

Regardless of your weight management goals, getting enough sleep is one of the best things you can do for your health.

Getting enough sleep has a number of other health benefits. It can help improve mood, increase productivity, and reduce stress levels. It can also help reduce inflammation, which is linked to a number of chronic diseases.

And there’s more, your brain needs sleep too.

Sleep is Great for your Brain Health

Sleep is crucial to your brain health. Sleep allows your brain to form and maintain the pathways that make it work. Getting enough sleep can help you to think more clearly, react more quickly, and be in a better mood. Sleep also helps your brain to consolidate memories and process information. This means that sleep can help you learn new information and skills more effectively.

A graphic of the brain lit up in blue, yellow and purple.

A Healthy Brain Requires Sleep

All of those things together will make your life better, more balanced, secure and less anxious. This intern will make you less stressed, more productive, and ironically less hungry especially for carbs.

Prioritize Sleep

Especially if your goal is losing weight on the keto diet, you should not cut back on sleep to make time for exercise or meal prep. Skimping on sleep can actually sabotage your weight loss efforts. A lack of sleep can lead to increased stress levels, which can raise cortisol levels and promote inflammation.

A man sleeping on the floor with electronics around him

Prioritize Sleep

Both of these effects can contribute to weight gain. Studies have shown that people who get six hours or less of sleep per night are more likely to be obese or overweight than their counterparts who average seven or more hours of sleep per night.

Does lack of carbs affect sleep?

The short answer is yes, a low carb high fat diet will affect your sleep patterns. Reduction in carbohydrate intake will affect your metabolism.

Keto Diet May Affect your Short Term Sleep Patterns

Initially, the Keto diet can cause some disruption to serotonin and melatonin, as well as increasing your energy levels and kick-starting your metabolism. This can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep when you first start Keto. However, once your body adjusts to the Keto diet, these side effects should dissipate and you should be able to sleep soundly once again.

Keto Diet’s Long Term Affect Sleep

Once you get used to fat as your source of energy, one of the best benefits of keto diet is better sleep during the night and more consistent energy during the day.

Long-term, the keto diet can lead to deeper sleep and less required sleep overall. Keto will promote deeper slow wave sleep which is critical for mitigating stress and inflammation. When we are stressed, our bodies tend to produce more of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol leads to inflammation and weight gain. Getting deep sleep will help keep cortisol levels down and keep your body in fat-burning mode while you sleep.

In the long term, a ketogenic diet promotes adenosine release. Adenosine is a neurotransmitter that has sleep-promoting properties. This means that when you’re on a keto diet, you’re more likely to feel sleepy at bed time, and have a better night’s sleep.

General Habits to Improve Sleep

If you’re struggling to get enough sleep, there are a few things you can do to improve your sleep habits.

Avoid caffeine and alcohol, especially before bed.

Instead try some camomile tea or a golden smoothie. And I know it sounds weird but having a daily shot of Apple Cider Vinegar can help you sleep.

Establish a regular sleep schedule, and create a relaxing bedtime routine.

If you’re still having trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor about possible sleep disorders.

What Does a Bedtime routine look like?

A relaxing bedtime routine includes winding down for 30 minutes before you turn off the lights. This means no screens, no working, and no stressful activity. Instead, try reading a book (an actual paper book), stretching, or taking a bath or warm shower.

a dog made out of towels on a table

The goal is to make your bedroom a sleep haven where your only focus is rest. This will help ease you into sleep mode and reduce any anxiety about falling asleep.

It might not work for the first few nights, but if you create a relaxing routine and follow it every night at the same time your brain will begin easing into sleep mode as soon as you start your routine, and by the time your head hits the pillow you’ll be off to a healthy dream land.

Additionally, avoid eating large meals before bed as this can lead to indigestion and disrupt your sleep. If you’re feeling hungry, stick to a light snack such as yogurt, or a few nuts maybe a cup of herbal tea.

And finally, cut back on the caffeine. Drinking coffee or tea late in the day can make it harder to fall asleep at night. So, aim to finish your last cup of coffee by 2 p.m. at the latest.

By following these tips, you can create a sleep routine that works for you and will help support your weight loss goals. Getting enough quality sleep is an important part of any healthy lifestyle, so make it a priority!

How does sleep affect your ability to lose weight?

There are many factors that affect weight loss, and sleep is one of them. Stress and inflammation can lead to weight gain, and not getting enough sleep can increase levels of the stress hormone – cortisol. Getting enough quality sleep is important for regulating metabolism and maintaining a healthy weight.

Studies have shown that people who get less than six hours of sleep are more likely to be obese than those who get seven to eight hours of sleep. Sleep deprivation can also make you crave unhealthy foods and make it harder to resist temptation.

If you’re trying to lose weight, aim for seven to eight hours of sleep each night. This will help reduce stress levels and manage metabolism. You may also want to consider a ketogenic diet, which can help promote weight loss by reducing inflammation.

Do you burn fat when you sleep on keto?

It is a little known fact that you burn almost as much energy when you’re sleeping as when you’re awake.

During REM sleep patterns your brain and muscles are highly active, and during the slow wave sleep pattern you need energy to heal and build muscles.

So, you burn energy while you sleep, and if you’re in ketosis, that energy will come from burning fat.

Better Night’s Sleep and the Benefits of Exercise Combined

The benefits of sleep are well documented, and the benefit of exercise cannot be overstated, but not enough is said about the combination of the two.

Exercise can help to burn calories, reduce stress and inflammation, and improve sleep quality- all of which can help you drop that extra weight.

When you exercise you stress and stretch your muscles you improve limbic circulation. By itself that’s great.

When you sleep there’s all the benefits that I talk about in this post.

If you get enough sleep and enough exercise everyday you will see more benefits from your sleep as well as more benefits from exercise.

Sleep, especially the restorative deeper slow wave sleep, gives your body the time to heal and build muscles. This intern makes exercise better and more fun which intern helps you sleep better and so on.

Let me give you an example: If you want to build muscles you lift weights. What that does is make little tears in the muscle fibers and the healing of those tears is what makes your muscles bigger and stronger.

When you lift weights, and then get a good night’s sleep, your body will use the rest time to speed up that process. Your muscle building will happen faster.

If you want to get a good night’s sleep and you make part of your daily routine weight-lifting, you will also sleep better, be less stressed and inflamed. You will feel better, stronger, and you will probably lose weight too. And if you follow a low carb high fat diet, the weight you lose will be fat.

Does getting enough shut-eye by itself play a role in weight loss? The answer is yes! In fact, research has shown that sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain.

Sleep and Stress

One of the main reasons sleep is so important for weight loss is because it helps to regulate stress hormones. When you’re stressed, your body releases cortisol, a hormone that tells your body to store fat.

Cortisol also increases your appetite, so you’re more likely to eat when you’re stressed. Also if you eat while you’re stressed, you’ll probably crave carbs. Getting enough sleep can help to reduce stress and, in turn, cortisol levels, and in turn hunger.

Sleep and Inflammation

Another reason sleep is important for weight loss is because it can help to reduce inflammation. Inflammation is a common cause of weight gain, and it’s been linked to a variety of health conditions, including heart disease and diabetes.

Research has shown that sleep deprivation can increase inflammation, so getting enough rest is crucial if you want to lose weight.

Sleep and Hormones

The way that hormones work is critical to losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight.

Leptin and Ghrelin:

Leptin is known as the satisfied hormone, and ghrelin is the hungry hormone.

Studies have shown that sleep deprived people have higher levels of ghrelin and lower levels of leptin.

So if you’re sleep deprived, you will get hungry and eat more.


is also known as the stress hormone, and along with some other terrible issues, cortisol blocks fat burning.

Sleep deprivation is extremely stressful to your body.

A sleep deprived person who is otherwise healthy – good diet and enough exercise – can actually get fat just because of higher cortisol levels.


If you’re Keto you know that insulin is the reason that we don’t want to eat carbs.  Insulin will not allow your body to burn fat.

Studies have shown that sleep deprived people become much more insulin resistant.

What that means is that when you eat, your body is going to create more insulin than if you had gotten enough sleep.

Now you might say “what’s-the-big-deal?” I’m not going to eat carbs anyway.

But you have to remember that eating anything causes some insulin response.

Fat only raises your fasting insulin level by 2% so that’s not too much, and if it is doubled because of no sleep, still not that much.

But protein raises your fasting insulin 40% for 4 to 5 hours after eating.  

If you double that by no sleep, you could end up with 80%, and that could knock you out of Ketosis.

This could be doubly bad because in Ketosis you have very low blood sugar and if there is too much insulin to burn fat, you would have no energy source.

Read that part again…NO ENERGY SOURCE.

You would have to eat some carbs for energy, and that would cause an exaggerated insulin spike, and it would just keep getting worse.

Human Growth Hormone (HGH):

HGH stimulates your body to make new cells – muscle cells, bone cells etc.

This function of HGH is especially important to all of us in the over 40 crowd because we need to maintain bone density and muscle mass.

There are two ways that you can stimulate the production of HGH. One is fasting, but the big one for most people is sleeping.

And even if you stimulate the production of HGH by fasting, the time that your body is most effective at utilizing it is while you’re sleeping.

The Takeaway

When people report sleep problems, you never hear them say “I got way too much good sleep last night.”

Especially on Keto, there is no downside to getting enough sleep.

Sleep is good for your health.

And that’s all for now,

Signature Thom Collins

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