Sleep more -- Lose weight!
Here’s a surprise: Getting more sleep can help people lose weight!
In this well-designed study, people who usually sleep less than 6.5 hours lost weight by sleeping longer.
This research was published February 2022 in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association - Internal Medicine.
Researchers recruited 80 overweight adults who had a habit of sleeping fewer than 6.5 hours per night.
Half the group (40 people) were randomly assigned to attend sleep counselling sessions. In these sessions, they learned how to extend their sleep.
The other half of the group (40 people) received no counselling. They continued sleeping fewer than 6.5 hours per night. They were designated the ‘control’ group.
All participants weighed themselves twice daily, and their daily energy intake was calculated — in other words, how many calories were they consuming?.
After 2 weeks, the participants who received sleep counselling were sleeping about 1.2 hours more per night — but participants in the control group continued to sleep fewer than 6.5 hours per night.
Participants who slept longer consumed fewer calories per day.Each 1-hour increase in sleep duration was associated with decreased consumption of 162 kcal per day. Not surprisingly, this meant they lost weight!
On average, participants in the longer-sleep group lost .89 kilograms (that's about a pound!) in just 2 weeks. By contrast, participants in the sleep-as-usual group actually gained weight — .39 kilograms in 2 weeks.
Previous studies have shown that short sleep duration is a risk factor for weight gain, and public health experts associate rising levels of obesity with insufficient sleep.
You might check this out for yourself. After a poor night’s sleep, do you notice that you eat more the next day? Maybe especially those sugary, fat-filled foods?
If so, you’re not alone. That’s what researchers find.
As one scientist put it: ‘When people sleep less, they eat more!‘
To your natural happiness!
Effect of Sleep Extension on Objectively Assessed Energy Intake Among Adults With Overweight in Real-life Settings: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Esra Tasali, et al.; JAMA Intern Med. Published online February 7, 2022