Home News Dieters Lose More Fat when they Sleep Right

Dieters Lose More Fat when they Sleep Right

If reducing body fat is your aim through dieting to lose weight, then you need to get the right amount of sleep to benefit the most, according to a new study in the U.S.

So make sure you snuggle up tight in your bed each night and enjoy a really good night's quality sleep because it has some really important added benefits aside from just dealing with tiredness!

Sleeping is Important

A team of researchers at the University of Chicago conducted the study over a period of one year that followed 10 volunteers who were overweight but otherwise healthy, with ages ranging from 35 to 49.

The findings indicated that when dieters slept adequately for eight hours a night, over half of the body weight that they lost was from the body's fat store. However, when they reduced the amount of sleep each night, the amount of fat lost was only a quarter of the overall body weight reduction, with the remainder coming from muscle loss.

According to Plamen Penev, medical professor and study director, this sends a "clear" message to dieters:

"For the first time, we have evidence that the amount of sleep makes a big difference... if your goal is to lose fat, skipping sleep is like poking sticks in your bicycle wheels. Cutting back on sleep, a behaviour that is ubiquitous in modern society, appears to compromise efforts to lose fat through dieting"

She also said that insufficient sleep stalls the loss of body fat by 55 percent. This is because loss of sleep increases the amount of carbohydrates used in place of fat by the body as its fuel. It also interferes with the body's ability to maintain lean body mass.

The volunteers, who had BMIs (Body Mass Indexes) that ranged from 25, which is considered overweight, to 32, which is considered obese, were placed on personalized, balanced diets with a restriction on calories to 90 percent of the amount they would normally need to maintain their weight by doing no exercise.

The volunteers were studied in two separate 14 day sessions in the laboratory. In the first, they all got a daily 8.5 hour period of sleep. In the second, they got only 5.5 daily hours of sleep.

During the first session where they had adequate sleep, the volunteers lost 3.1 pounds of fat. This compared with just 1.3 pounds of fat lost during the second session when they had less sleep. Also noted in the second session was the release of higher levels of ghrelin, which a chemical in the body that stimulates hunger and also retains fat.

Hormonal Factors

The scientists believe that a dieter's level of hunger and weight-loss composition are affected by hormone changes that come in response to a combination of restricted sleep and calories consumed. There are plans by the study group to conduct further similar studies using a larger sample and taken over longer time periods to confirm these findings.

The results from the study are published in the Journal Annals of Internal Medicine.


Posted on Tue, 05 Oct 2010 in News | 0 Comments

0 thoughts on "Dieters Lose More Fat when they Sleep Right"