Sleep Better And Lose Weight Too


Getting a good night’s sleep will not only improve your mood and reduce depressive thoughts, but it also is a good way to lose weight.

And it seems the converse also applies: new research shows those who lose weight sleep better and feel less depressed.

The links between the amount and quality of sleep and appetite and weight loss have been mounting as researchers examine just why sleep seems to help people lose weight, and new studies are just adding to the mountain of evidence.

Regular Sleep Routine Important

A recent University of Pennsylvania study shows people who lost at least five per cent of their total weight over a period of six months slept longer and better, and their general mood also improved.

The “take away” from these recent sleep studies is clear  – if you are getting less than six and a half hours of sleep a night, you are likely to be carrying more weight than you would prefer and also feeling less positive about life than you need to.

Not only is getting enough hours of sleep a night important for your weight control, if you establish a regular sleep routine you’ll have a lower percentage of body fat than if you keep irregular hours, according to a new Brigham Young University study.

Sleep Sweet Spot For Weight Loss

Researchers followed 300 female college students, ages 19 to 26, who were given activity trackers to monitor their movements and activities, including waking and sleeping times.

The sleep study found:

  • Getting less than 6.5 hours of sleep and more than 8.5 hours of sleep was linked to higher body fat
  • The “sweet spot” for the lowest body fat was sleeping for 8 to 8.5 hours a night
  • High quality sleep was associated with lower body fat while poor sleep correlated with higher body fat
  • Waking and going to sleep at the same time every day (particularly a consistent wake time) was most strongly linked with lower body fat
  • Those with more than 90 minutes of variation in sleep and wake time during the week had higher body fat than those with less than 60 minutes of variation.

Treat Body Clock With Respect

body clock

Staying up late and even sleeping in may be doing more harm than good, lead researcher, Professor Bruce Bailey says.

“We have these internal clocks and throwing them off and not allowing them to get into a pattern does have an impact on our physiology.”

To improve sleep quality he recommends:

  • Exercising
  • Keeping the temperature in the room coo
  • Having a quiet room
  • Having a dark room
  • Using beds only for sleeping – ie., no computers, cell phones, bringing work to bed, or catching up on entertainment TV

Sleep Influences Appetite

This study supports a growing body of research which shows close links between the amount and quality of sleep and weight control.

A University of Arizona randomized trial of overweight women on a weight loss program showed those who got an adequate amount of good quality sleep increased weight loss success by 33 per cent.

Forbes magazine reports other studies have shown that sleep has an effect on physical activity, appetite, and the hormones that control appetite, metabolism, and the cues that tell us we’re full.

Sleep Assists Satiety

According to studies skimping on sleep boosts production of ghrelin, the hormone that controls food cravings, and decreases production of leptin, the hormone that signals satiety and helps prevent over-eating.

If you need more incentive, weight is just one of many aspects of your health that sleep benefits.

Recent research shows that sleep detoxes the brain, helping rid it of protein build-up that can lead to Alzheimer’s and dementia.

And research last year found that sleep loss lowers immunity and raises stroke risk.




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