Tuesday, April 5

Sleep May Help You Lose Weight

Sleep May Help You Lose Weight

Eat less and sleep more? Sleep deprivation may have an impact on weight management, according to a new study.

Weight loss was originally considered a simple calculation: eat less and move more to establish a calorie deficit. Underlying disparities between people—in genetics, health issues, body type, and more—are also thought to play a factor in how tough it is to lose weight. Yet research reveals that some things may help set the stage for success.
Sleep more to eat less? New data reinforces this notion, demonstrating that adults who are well-rested consume many fewer calories than those who are chronically sleep-deprived.

This short-term research of 80 overweight patients hammers home just how fundamental slumber is to our predisposition to put on additional pounds, says Dr Beth Frates, director of lifestyle medicine and wellness in the department of surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital.

"Investing in strategies to improve sleep hygiene may help people get the required seven to nine hours of sleep every night," Dr Frates explains. "This could result in people who are overweight by BMI consuming fewer calories and even losing weight."

Sleep deprivation is associated with chronic disorders.

The current study, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, confirms previous findings that those who sleep less consume more calories and even seek higher-calorie items than those who sleep for longer periods of time.
Dr. Frates observes that around one-third of Americans do not get the required seven to nine hours of sleep each night, and this deficiency is associated with a variety of chronic conditions, including high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. According to her, sleep is one of the six pillars of lifestyle medicine, along with exercise, a nutritious diet, stress reduction, social interaction, and avoiding toxic drugs.
"The majority of individuals place a premium on exercise and diet when it comes to weight management and heart health, but very few place a premium on sleep," she says.
Sleep cycles, calorie intake, and weight tracking
Adults aged 21 to 40 with a BMI of between 25.0 and 29.9 were included in the study. This BMI range is considered overweight. Each of them slept fewer than 6.5 hours per night on a regular basis. For the first two weeks, everyone slept normally.
The second two weeks were spent randomly assigning participants to two equal groups. To achieve 8.5 hours of sleep, one group received individualized therapy, highlighting strategies to modify sleep-disrupting elements such as bed partners, children, and pets.
"The suggestion was no blanket," Dr Frates emphasizes. "It was tailored to the individual, and there was a follow-up meeting with additional therapy." The second group of volunteers continued to sleep in their usual manner.
All were instructed to maintain their everyday routines without altering their food or exercise habits. Each participant wore a wristband that monitored their sleep cycles and weighed themselves each morning. Sophisticated laboratory testing determined the difference between the calories consumed and expended by each participant each day.

Appetite-regulating hormone balance

The researchers discovered that participants who received sleep hygiene counselling slept an average of over an hour longer each night than those who maintained their previous sleeping habits. Additionally, participants in the extended sleep group consumed an average of 270 fewer calories per day and lost nearly a pound on average, compared to participants in the control group, who gained just under a pound on average.
The findings are significant because they demonstrate the efficacy of education and counselling in changing behaviour—in this case, sleep, as Dr Frates explains. She adds that significantly increased sleep duration can help patients feel more alive than just surviving, she says.
However, why might additional sleep be beneficial? Sleep duration has long been associated with the body's generation of hormones that regulate appetite. Inadequate sleep is connected with increased levels of the hormone ghrelin, which stimulates appetite, and decreased levels of the hormone leptin, which causes a sense of satiety. This encourages people to gain weight. By contrast, sleeping more may have an effect on these hormones, rebalancing them.
"With additional sleep, individuals may also feel more awake, energized, and happy," Dr. Frates says. "This could result in increased activity, even if it is not physical activity. It is possible that this will result in less sitting and more interaction.
It's worth mentioning that the study did not disclose whether the longer sleep pattern was maintained following the two-week intervention period, nor did it disclose the sorts of meals consumed by individuals and when.
Additionally, the study had major shortcomings. Did participants in the sleep extension intervention make healthier lifestyle choices? Dr. Frates inquires. While calories are critical, the source of those calories is just as critical. Measuring hunger, desires, and stress levels would also be beneficial.

Takeaways for improving your sleep

A few important strategies from the study may help you sleep better and maybe consume fewer calories:
Maintain a sleep log.
Evaluate bedtime rituals in order to fine-tune variables affecting sleep length.
Electronic device use should be limited to at least one hour before bed.

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