Can't Shed Those Pounds?
A lack of zzzzs can affect your ability to lose weight
By Michael Breus, PhD, D, ABSM
Reviewed By Stuart Meyers
To lose weight seems to be the number one resolution each new year. However, nearly 90% of these resolutions meet with either little or no success. Some people even gain weight instead. Most people never know there may be a very simple reason why: They don't sleep well.
Studies published in The Journal of the American Medical Association and The Lancet suggest that sleep loss may increase hunger and affect the body's metabolism, which may make it more difficult to maintain or lose weight.
Sleep loss appears to do two things:
Why would an overweight person tend to have sleep problems? There appear to be several reasons why this may occur:
It is also important to realize that the quality of sleep (that is, getting the right amount of "deep sleep") is just as important as the quantity of sleep. For example, decreased amounts of restorative deep or slow-wave sleep have been associated with significantly reduced levels of growth hormone, a protein that helps regulate the body's proportions of fat and muscle during adulthood.
Sleep Tips to Help You Shape Up
Specialists recommend that people who vow to lose weight should adjust their sleep habits as well as their eating habits. The following are useful tips to help shape up.
If you have trouble sleeping for more than a few weeks, or if sleep problems interfere with daily functioning, speak with your doctor.
Published May 2003.
©2003 WebMD Inc. All rights reserved.
Last Editorial Review: 1/31/2005 6:09:21 AM
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