Sleep and Weight Loss

by in Healthy Tips, January 30, 2012
sleep
Is sleep tied to a healthy weight?

After giving birth to three kids in less than 5 years, I never had much time to sleep. Like most folks, I savor those nights when I can get 6 or 7 hours of shuteye. Now numerous studies tell us that getting our zzz’s also helps with our weight loss efforts.

The Studies
A 2011 study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that folks trying to shed at least 10 pounds were more likely to achieve their goal if they slept between 6 to 8 hours a night and had lower stress levels.

A 2004 study by the Stanford School of Medicine found that the less you sleep, the more weight you’ll gain. They found that not getting enough sleep leads to higher levels of appetite-stimulating hormones and lower levels of the hormones that tell us when we’re full. Furthermore, lack of sleep was associated with a higher body mass index (BMI).

There are also numerous theories that find sleepless nights can lead to weight gain. One theory says that when you’re tired, you become less physically active during the day which can lead to weight gain. A second theory says that when you’re sleep deprived you don’t care as much to make conscious food choices—which can lead you off your healthy eating plan.

Modeling Good Behavior
It’s not only about adults sleeping well. Modeling proper behavior to our children and enforcing proper bedtimes is important. Allowing kids to stay awake past their bedtimes in order to watch TV, play video games and raid the pantry can lead to terrible habits and result in weight problems.

Some important guidelines for parents to remember:

  • Turn off TV, video games and cell phones when it’s time for bed.
  • Create a routine about 30 minutes before bed to help soothe kids such as listening to quiet music, talking with them or reading.
  • Enforce bedtimes.
  • Model proper sleep behaviors to kids.

Bottom Line:
Getting enough shut ye is part of your overall healthy life. Adults should aim for 6 to 8 hours each night.

TELL US: Do you get enough sleep every night?

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby’s full bio »

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Comments (48)

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  2. [...] sensitive to it than others. Be smart – if you know that taking in caffeine later in the day disrupts your sleep – skip it and get some [...]

  3. [...] more sensitive to it than others. Be smart – if you know that taking in caffeine later in the day disrupts your sleep – skip it and get some [...]

  4. [...] Not Enough Zzz’sStudies have found that getting fewer than 6 hours of shuteye a night can lead to weight gain. One theory also states [...]

  5. fat thighs says:

    I agree that getting the right amount of sleep and weight loss would always come together. So if we are planning to lose weight, we should also have enough sleep.

  6. diet pills says:

    A second theory says that when you’re sleep deprived you don’t care as much to make conscious food choices—which can lead you off your healthy eating plan.

  7. Brentwood says:

    Thank you for sharing in this article
    I can learn a lot and could also be a reference
    I hope to read the next your article updates

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