If you’re making an effort to lose weight, there are two things you usually think about: diet and exercise. Well, folks, add sleep to your list.
There have been past studies that point to the importance of adequate shut-eye for healthy weight management. Now, a new study adds to the mounting evidence that your sleep habits have a substantial impact on the quality of your weight.
In the latest study, which has been published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, 10 overweight men and women lived in a sleep lab for two separate two-week periods. During both stays, they followed the same calorie-restricted diet. However, one of the times they only got five and half hours of sleep as compare to eight and a half hours the other time.
Here’s where it gets interesting.
The participants lost the same amount in both two week periods – seven pounds. However, in the sleep-deprived periods, they mostly lost muscle weight, not fat.
When they got eight and a half hours of sleep, more than half the weight lost came from their fat stores. But, during the five and half hour sleep period, only 25 percent of the weight loss was fat.
Problems with the study include the small sample size and the short period of time. But, studies have shown that lack of adequate sleep may alter one’s levels of what is referred to as the “hunger hormones” – leptin and ghrelin.
Low blood levels of leptin promotes hunger, while higher levels tell the brain that you are full, and even encourages calorie burn. Ghrelin, on the other hand, is secreted by the stomach, and boosts your appetite.