Recipes and Tips for Healthier Living and Smarter Budgeting

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Winks and Weight

Last week we received this article as part of my husband's employee wellness program and I thought it valuable to share:

Want another reason to get your forty winks?

How about this: Not getting enough sleep may hinder the effectiveness of your diet.

A new study funded by the National Institutes of Health found that dieters who got an adequate night’s sleep (approximately seven and a half hours) lost more fat than those who slept about two hours less.

While both groups lost the same amount of weight, only one-fourth of the weight loss in the less-sleep group came from fat.

Those who slept less also felt hungrier, as their bodies produced more of the hormone ghrelin, which triggers hunger and reduces energy expenditure, reports Science Daily.

If your goal is to lose fat, sleep may be your secret weapon, helping your body to burn more fat and keeping hunger under control so that you’re better equipped to stick to your diet.

The National Sleep Foundation lists other potential dangers of too little sleep, including increased risk of motor vehicle accidents, increase in body mass index (caused by increased hunger from sleep deprivation), increased risk of diabetes and heart disease, increased risk of psychological problems such as depression and substance abuse, and decreased ability to focus and retain new information.

Probably most of us are already aware of much of these facts, but it's good to make all the connections.

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