Experts Study: Lack of sleep may affect people who want to lose weight

By on Oct 7, 2010 in Health, Science Comments

Lack of sleep may affect people who want to lose weight; this is what a recent study showed.

According to the researchers from the University of Chicago and the University of Wisconsin- Madison, not getting enough sleep may disrupt the efforts of people who want to lose weight or under diet.

This is primarily because of the relationship between lack of sleep and decrease in fat loss.

The result of the study, which was also published in the latest issue of Annals of Internal Medicine have concluded to this phenomenon.

In an experiment, 10 obese or overweight people were divided into two groups and each group had different sleeping hours.

While all of them were given same caloric intake and routine activities, the first group had 5.5 hours sleep while the other group had 8.5 hours of sleep over two periods.

The result showed that all although all participants lost the same amount of weight, the ones who got less sleep lost less fat and more muscle than the group as compared to those who got more sleep.

“The loss of lean body mass is an unwanted side-effect of all weight loss diets. Dr. Plamen Penev, one of the study’s authors, said.

This side effect was increased by sleep reduction in our study,” the doctor added, who is also an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Meanwhile, other sleep and weight loss experts said that the result of the experiment were very important.

These days, it is very seldom that studies have looked at the relationship between sleep deprivation and metabolism.

“It suggests that lack of sleep result to some negative metabolic consequences,” Gary Foster, director of Temple University’s Center for Obesity Research and Education, in Philadelphia, said.

Sleep experts also concluded that the study suggested that short sleep may affect levels of two hunger-related hormones, ghrelin and leptin.

“It seems that it’s mainly the deregulation in leptin and ghrelin that are driving this,” said Dr. Reena Mehra, medical director of the Adult Sleep Lab at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

“When you’re getting less than 7 to 8 hours of sleep, it may affect metabolism and insulin resistance,” she added.

Meanwhile, Dr. Nancy Collop, professor of medicine and director of the Emory Sleep Center in Atlanta, also concluded that ‘the longer people are awake, the hungrier they get’.

But while some sleep and weight loss experts say that a study with only 10 subjects makes it hard to pinpoint exact causes for decreased fat loss, all of them agree that the findings are convincing.

And as the study seems to emphasize one thing, it is very important to have a good and sufficient night sleep.

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