Looking to lose a couple pounds? Putting down the donuts and chips will help but getting the proper amount of sleep is just as important in helping to shed the weight.
Two Canadian researchers are stressing the importance of sleep in aiding with weight loss. Their study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal yesterday, reveals a strong connection between lack of sleep and the obesity epidemic we’ve been experiencing over the past decade.
The researcher’s main concerns are that too much focus is being put on diet and nutrition and not enough on healthy sleep patterns.
“Among the behavioural factors that have been shown to impede weight loss, insufficient sleep is gaining attention and recognition,” they write in their editorial.
The researchers analyzed a 2010 study where participants were randomly selected to sleep either 5.5 hours or 8.5 hours every night for a total of 14 days. They each cut their daily caloric intake by 680 calories and slept in a lab. The results showed that individuals who slept for 5.5 hours lost 55 percent less body fat and 60 percent more of their lean body mass compared to those who slept for 8.5 hours.
In essence, the sleep-deprived participants held on to their fat tissue and lost muscle instead.
Furthermore, researchers reviewed 36 studies involving over 635,000 individuals around the world and found that “adults who didn’t get enough sleep were 50 percent more likely to be obese, an children who didn’t get enough sleep were 90 percent more likely to be obese, compared with those who got more sleep.”
The researchers note that getting more sleep is not the solution for every individual attempting to lose weight, however, proper sleep combined with healthy eating and exercising is the most effective way to make sure you’re covering all of your bases in achieving your weight loss goals.