Dukan Diet: Top Tips for Losing Weight: Sleeping Well

Making sure that you get enough sleep is a really positive change that you can make to your lifestyle that can help you lose weight and provide lots of other health benefits too. The great thing about this lifestyle change is that it costs nothing and you don’t have to give anything up.

At first glance it seems difficult to make a link between getting more sleep and losing weight as the natural assumption to make would be that the less time spent sleeping the more calories that you would use but there has been a lot of research in this area in recent years which has shown that there are a lot of different factors which come into play and this research has shown a very definite link between obesity and sleep deprivation.

Researchers believe that a lack of sleep disrupts the levels of the hormones ghrelin and leptin which help regulate our appetite. Ghrelin is a hormone produced in our gastrointestinal tract which makes us feel hungry and leptin which is produced in our fat cells tells us we’ve eaten enough.

In one trial in 2004 conducted by the University of Chicago subjects who were only allowed four hours sleep a night for two days showed an increase of 28% in ghrelin and a decrease of 18% in leptin. This trial also found that the food choices of the volunteers changed and they found high sugar foods such cake and candy far more tempting than other healthier foods. Although the trial did not look at this change in food choices they thought that this change in food choices could be caused by messages sent by the brain which needs glucose to work. Eve Van Cauter from the University of Chicago said “There is a sense that you can pack in more of life by skimping on sleep. But we are finding that people tend to replace reduced sleep with added calories, and that’s not a healthy trade.”

Two more recent studies by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and the University of Chicago confirmed a link between increased calorie consumption and decreased sleep.

Research carried out by the University of Warwick reviewed information for more than 28,000 children and 15,000 adults and found a direct correlation between sleep deprivation and obesity and found that a shorter sleep time comes with a almost doubled risk of being obese.

Another study suggested that people who are tired are more likely to be eating at restaurants and fast food outlets than cooking their own meals. It might also mean that you don’t have the energy to exercise regularly.

So how much sleep is enough? Well it does vary from individual to individual but the right amount of sleep for an adult is usually between seven and nine hours.

If you already sleep a lot or increase your sleep and still feel tired, you should talk to your doctor as you might be suffering with undiagnosed sleep apnea which reduces the quality of sleep that you are obtaining.

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