Lack of Sleep Compromises Weight Loss Efforts

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If you are trying to lose weight, make sure you get enough sleep.  A study published in the October 5 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine indicated that lack of sleep thwarted the efficacy of dieting to lose weight. 

In this study, researchers randomized 10 overweight, nonsmoking adults (3 women, 7 men) with body mass index ranging from 25 to 32 kg/m2 to 14 days of dieting and 8.5 hours of nighttime sleep and then to a similar period of dieting but only 5.5 hours of nighttime sleep. 

The study found that the reduced sleep decreased the proportion of weight lost as fat by 55%. Subjects who slept 8.5 hours per night lost a mean weight of 1.4 kg, compared with those who slept only 5.5 hours per night lost a mean of only 0.6 kg (P = .043). 

They also found less sleep time resulted in increased hunger and higher acylated ghrelin concentrations but lower resting metabolic rate. 

Ghrelin is a hormone that has been shown to reduce energy expenditure, stimulate hunger and food intake, promote retention of fat, and increase glucose production in the body.  The increase in ghrelin level helps to explain why sleep-deprived participants also reported feeling hungrier during the study. 

Source: Ann Intern Med. 2010;153:435-441, 475-476.

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