The findings of a randomized trial undertaken by the University of Copenhagen (Denmark) and presented at the European Congress on Obesity suggest that better and longer sleep patterns may help people lose weight for good.
It is generally recognized that not getting enough or poor quality sleep raises the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and the formation of fatty deposits in the arteries.
Sleep deprivation has also been linked to diabetes, inflammation, and heart disease. Scientists are increasingly convinced that inadequate sleep is a factor in weight re-gain following weight loss.
In the study, 195 obese persons aged 18 to 65 followed a very low-calorie diet (800 kcal/day) for eight weeks, losing an average of 12% of their bodyweight.
After that, they were tracked for a year. Their sleep length was monitored using wearable monitor data, and their sleep quality was assessed using the Pittsburgh sleep quality index (PSQI), a self-reported questionnaire.
Those who slept for fewer than six hours a night had a 1.3 point increase in body mass index (BMI) after a year compared to those who slept for more than six hours.
Similarly, those who had poor quality sleep had a 1.2 point rise in BMI after a year compared to those who had high quality sleep. The authors acknowledged that the study was observational and could not show that lack of sleep caused weight changes, but it was likely to contribute.
Previous research has found that more than a third of individuals in the UK and the US do not get enough sleep on a regular basis, owing to a variety of elements in modern living such as stress, computers, smart gadgets, and the blurring of work-life boundaries.
Read the original article in The Guardian