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Data Insights

How Lumen users are sleeping their way to a healthy metabolism

by Barak Alon · August 01, 2021 · 4 minute read

Many of us are guilty of not getting enough sleep each night. In fact, 1 in 3 American adults do not get healthy amounts (7-9 hours) of shut-eye. This is a real concern as sleep does more for your health than you might realize. Indeed, there’s the grogginess, the brain fog and the dark eye circles. But sleep deprivation over a period of time has been linked to serious health conditions, including metabolic disorders. To further analyze the connection between sleep and metabolism, Lumen’s data team took a deep dive into the sleep habits of our users. Here we discuss our five key findings…

1 Weight loss vs sleep duration

Our data shows Lumen users that sleep approximately 7-9 hours per night will lose 1.5x more weight compared to users that sleep approximately 4-6 hours per night. To back up our research, we can look to scientific studies that show when you’re sleep deprived it disrupts the hormones involved in regulating your metabolism and appetite. A lack of sleep causes leptin levels, which suppress appetite and tell your body when it’s full, to drop. Meanwhile, ghrelin levels that stimulate appetite are increased. This can trigger an urge to eat, even when you don’t actually need food, which can lead to weight gain.

2 Fat burn vs sleep duration

Lumen users that sleep approximately 7-9 hours per night are 35% more likely to reach a fat burn state in the morning compared to users that sleep approximately 4-6 hours per night. Again, a change in hormones could be the reason for this result. Studies show when you don’t get enough sleep it triggers a spike in the stress hormone cortisol. When we’re in stress mode we tend to use more carbs (sugar) and less fat as a source of energy. This is because carbs are the fuel your muscles need during the ‘fight or flight’ response. High levels of sugar and insulin set the stage for the body to store fat. Moreover, this means without proper sleep it’s harder to train our metabolism to be flexible or more efficient at switching between fats and carbs as a fuel source.

3 Fat burn vs sleep/wake hours

Interestingly, the time our users go to bed and wake up only has a slight impact on their ability to burn fat. Users that enter bed between 9pm-11pm are 5% more likely to reach fat burn, compared to users that enter bed between midnight-2am. Users that wake up between 8am-10am are 6% more likely to reach fat burn, compared to users that wake up between 11am-1pm.

4 Daily steps vs sleep duration

We also discovered Lumen users that sleep approximately 7-9 hours per night will on average walk 650 more daily steps, compared to users that sleep approximately 4-6 hours per night. From this, we can see that people are more likely to move their bodies when they have high-quality sleep and feel full of energy. This is good news as regular exercise is one of the ways you can boost your metabolic flexibility.

5 Workout duration vs sleep duration

Lumen users that sleep approximately 7-9 hours per night will workout 20% longer compared to users that sleep approximately 4-6 hours per night. This tells us that users who don’t get enough sleep are getting more fatigued, but also they’re not giving their bodies enough time to recover. Sleep is one of the most important factors for physical recovery as it’s when our muscles repair and grow. If you don’t get enough sleep it will affect your performance and could up your risk of injury while training.

6 Why track your sleep with Lumen?

Alongside metabolism, nutrition and workouts, Lumen allows you to track your sleep in real-time. This will help you analyze your sleep habits and see what could be preventing you from getting the recommended amount of sleep. For example, eating late at night or having too much caffeine. It can also help you create a regular sleep schedule – even on weekends. Ideally, you should be aiming to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day as this helps regulate your body’s circadian rhythm (internal body clock). This plays an important role in the sleep/wake cycle and also metabolic homeostasis.

*based on data of 1 million metabolism measurements of users who are on the ‘healthy weight loss’ track and consider to be active users.

References

  • Sharma S, Kavuru M. Sleep and metabolism: an overview. Int J Endocrinol. 2010;2010:270832. doi:10.1155/2010/270832
  • Nedeltcheva AV, Kilkus JM, Imperial J, Schoeller DA, Penev PD. Insufficient sleep undermines dietary efforts to reduce adiposity. Ann Intern Med. 2010;153(7):435-441. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-153-7-201010050-00006
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Barak Alon

Head of Data at Lumen