Tuesday, April 16, 2024


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If you want to lose weight more easily or not regain the pounds you lost, good quality sleep is a necessary component of the whole effort.

After a short gallop among acquaintances and friends, I came to the conclusion that many of us sleep less than 7 hours a day, or our sleep is not very good. The reason; Unfortunately he is not the only one. Stress , excessive use of smart phones , the disappearing boundaries between personal and professional life, a pandemic, punctuality, a war. Take your pick.

Although scientific research on the negative effects of insufficient or poor quality sleep on our health is multiplying, unfortunately the modern lifestyle often leaves no room for improvement.

According to experts, lack of sleep is linked to diabetes and inflammation in the body, and increases the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, atherosclerosis, stroke, heart attack and death.

Get at least 7 hours of sleep

In the above list, add the extra pounds . According to research presented at the 29th annual European Congress on Obesity , lack of adequate sleep and poor quality sleep seem to make it difficult for those who have lost weight (after effort and suffering) to stay at the desired levels, contributing to its re-gain.


weight and sleep

Illustration: Eleni Kastrinoyannis


For this study, 195 obese adults followed a very low-calorie diet for eight weeks and lost an average of 12% of their body weight . The participants were then divided into groups and each group followed a maintenance program for a year . The hours they slept were measured before and after the diet, as well as after 13, 26 and 52 weeks. Sleep quality was assessed with a special questionnaire.

The news is not pleasant if you sleep a few hours. Participants who slept an average of less than 6 hours at the start of the study experienced a 1.3 kg/m² (pounds/height) increase in Body Mass Index during the maintenance period, compared to those who slept more than 6 hours . Similarly, subjects who had poor quality sleep at the start of the study increased their BMI by 1.2 kg/m² during the maintenance period, compared to those who slept well.

The connection between sleep and our… lost pounds is of great importance, considering that many of us do not complete the required hours of sleep.

Sleep and the weight we might… lose

“The obesity epidemic is primarily explained by an increase in caloric intake, not a lack of exercise,” says Esra Tasali, Director of the Sleep Center at the University of Chicago.

In a clinical trial published in JAMA Internal Medicine, Tasali and her team found that young, overweight adults who typically slept less than 6.5 hours were able to increase their sleep duration by an average of 1.2 hours after a just personalized counseling session. The intervention, which was intended to increase sleep duration to 8.5 hours, resulted in a reduction in participants’ total caloric intake of 270 calories per day compared to the control group. This reduction translates into a loss of approximately 12 kilograms over three years .

The above study not only looked at how much sleep time affects calorie intake, but it did so in real-world conditions, as the participants did not make any lifestyle changes in terms of their eating habits and physical activity levels.


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