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)

  1. SusanSmucker says:

    Interesting thought of diet with getting enough sleep. Also on your wings baked instead of frying & use healthy dips.

  2. [...] sleep may have more of a role in weight loss than we think. I came across this article posted on the Food Networks Healthy Eats blog that cited two studies, by International [...]

  3. gaby says:

    hi
    i liked this article and it made me reliaze how slepping really late can affect my goal and maybe even my learning .

  4. [...] #5: Get Some ZZZZZZ’sSleep deprivation can trigger increased activity of the hormones that promote eating. To make matters worse, it’s harder to make healthy choices when you’re tired. Avoid late-night [...]

  5. [...] #5: Get Some ZZZZZZ’s Sleep deprivation can trigger increased activity of the hormones that promote eating. To make matters worse, it’s harder to make healthy choices when you’re tired. Avoid late-night [...]

  6. [...] #5: Get Some ZZZZZZ’s Sleep deprivation can trigger increased activity of the hormones that promote eating. To make matters worse, it’s harder to make healthy choices when you’re tired. Avoid late-night [...]

  7. we tend to eat a lot when we're stressed out…..and when we're not sleeping when we should, our body produces stress hormones and reduces hormones such as muscle relaxant, and regulators. So totally agree that if one wants to lose weight, they should sleep at least 7 hours every night. And sleeping also make us look prettier – beauty sleep

  8. Belle says:

    Shocks, I am not sleeping enough nowadays, I don't wanna gain weight. I think I'll fix my sleeping routine now, and exercise more. :) Not just to lose weight but to be healthy too. :)

    Thanks for this one. Great help.

  9. Belle says:

    Shocks, I am not sleeping enough nowadays, I don't wanna gain weight. I think I'll fix my sleeping routine now, and exercise more. :) Not just to lose weight but to be healthy too. :)

  10. PMJ says:

    I work shift work, rotating between day shift and night shift each week. My body clock is TOTALLY out of whack and there's no way around the shift work. Help!!

    • jessojive says:

      i did that for years! i found that the easiest wayto keep my body in check was to make my eating and sleeping habits individual to what my body needed specifically….its not necessarily easy at first, but its soooo worth it in the long run, and youll notice you function better as a result :-)

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