Obesity is one of the major problems faced by the present generation. It has now become more like a disorder and appears to have some connection with the sleeping patterns of individuals. One-third of the US population is not getting adequate sleep of 7 to 9 hours. From several studies, it is clear that inadequate sleep on a daily basis can worsen your health condition and mainly it can affect your BMI resulting in obesity.
How Sleep Time Will Aid In Weight Loss?
From the latest study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, it is proven that the people who have extended their sleep to an adequate amount seem to have decreased their calorie intake by a minimum of 270 calories per day, and in some cases, there was an average of 500 calories per day.
Dr. Esra Tasali, an associate professor of medicine who directs the Sleep Research Centre at the University of Chicago, and also the study author, said that this discovery is more like a game-changer for weight loss or weight maintenance. Her findings suggest that improving and maintaining adequate sleep duration could reduce weight and be a viable intervention for obesity prevention and weight loss programs since short sleep duration has been recognized as a risk factor for obesity.
The researchers estimate from the study that consuming 270 fewer calories per day would help in losing 26 pounds within 3 years without doing anything other than getting adequate sleep. Tasali said that if a person could do some negotiations to themselves to increase or preserve their sleep duration so that they are not sleep deprived can have a significant impact on healthy weight.
The study was conducted in a usual home environment and not in a sleep lab which strengthens the findings also the researchers used a clinical urine test to measure the calories instead of depending on people to recollect what they ate. They included participants who were aged between 21 to 40 years with a BMI between 25.0 and 29.9 and had a habitual sleep duration of fewer than 6.5 hours per night. And they are instructed to continue their daily activities at home without any prescribed diet or physical activities.
According to Dr. Bhanuprakash Kolla, sleep psychiatrist and neurologist in the Center for Sleep Medicine and the Division of Addiction Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, the study is done to provide an answer to an important question. He also said that the researchers have clearly shown that as the time duration of sleep increases, the energy intake will also reduce and this, in turn, will help in weight loss.
Will adequate sleep help in weight loss?
As per the study, inadequate sleep can have impacts on two key hormones that control hunger and satiety, ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin is a hormone that stimulates hunger and could increase because of sleep deprivation. Another hormone leptin, which helps in maintaining body weight, decreases due to sleep deprivation. So overall, when a person is sleep-deprived there will be a lack of hormones and therefore will have less brake on their appetite, remarked Kolla.
Inadequate sleep can have adverse effects on your body. It could have an impact on your brain reward centers where pleasurable feelings are produced. Tasali said that these reward centers in the brain get more activated when you are sleep-deprived, which increases your cravings for carbohydrates or junk food or a higher overall food intake. An increase in sleep deprivation creates a problem of insulin resistance that leads to weight gain.
Is it possible to increase your sleep duration?
According to Tasali, it is not so difficult to improve your sleeping time. Every person has undergone an hour-long counseling session about their sleeping style. They just have to improve their sleep hygiene, such as putting away electronics before bed. Mainly blue light-emitting devices like mobiles must be put aside 45 minutes before bed because blue light stops the release of melatonin, the body’s sleepy-time hormone. And also sleeping in a cool bedroom will also increase your sleep duration.
Tasali said that she saw changes after just one week of the two-week sleep improvement program and through this study, she proved that sleep does play a major role in weight loss.