Margaret Minnicks is health conscienced and has learned a lot about her own health that she wants to share with others.
Most people do not associate sleeping with losing weight. A new study shows that sleeping one more hour each night can definitely result in weight loss.
ABC News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton talked with co-host Michael Strahan on Good Morning America on Tuesday, February 8, 2022. Dr. Ashton explained the health benefits of getting the right amount of sleep, according to a report about the result of a study published Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.
Getting an Additional Hour of Sleep
Ashton is a reputable doctor and a certified nutritionist. She would not have reported the result of the study unless she believed it. She emphasized that just one hour or more of sleep a night can help boost a significant weight loss.
Participants in the study slept one additional hour for two weeks. Because of that extra one hour of sleep, they weren't as hungry during the day. In fact, they ate about 150 fewer calories. They averaged a weight loss of two pounds for that short period of the study. Think of what the results would be if you slept later every morning.
The researchers at the University of Chicago and the University of Wisconsin-Madison were extremely pleased with the results of the study. They noted that over three years of adding one additional hour of sleep could result in a weight loss of at least 26 pounds.
Dr. Ashton concluded, "We know that when we’re sleep-deprived, we tend to make poor food choices." She added that when people get enough sleep, they think better, are in a better mood, and have better mental health. Those who get enough sleep also notice a decrease in high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease."
Four Ways to Get Better Sleep
At the end of Dr. Ashton's explanation, she gave four tips to get better and more restful sleep.
- Have a consistent bedtime routine not only during the week, but also on the weekends.
- Keep your bedroom cold, dark, and quiet for a relaxing sleep environment. Avoid technology, including television, telephone, and computers.
- Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol at least one to two hours before falling asleep.
Another Report About the Same Sleep Study
Dr. Ashton was not the only one who shared the information about the relationship between sleep and losing weight. The report was also discussed on CNN on Monday, February 7, 2022.
The basic information was the same. However, there were a few additional details. Viewers found out that some of the participants cut their intake by as many as 500 calories each day, but the average calorie decrease was 150 to 270 calories a day. That would translate to about 9 pounds over a year.
Dr. Esra Tasali, an associate professor of medicine who directs the Sleep Research Center at the University of Chicago, says this is a game-changer for those who really want to lose weight at least 9 pounds a year by getting some much-needed sleep.
Dr. Bhanuprakash Kolla, a sleep psychiatrist and neurologist in the Center for Sleep Medicine and the Division of Addiction Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, was not involved in the study. However, he said the study showed that as a person increased the amount of sleep, his energy intake became reduced and that led to modest reductions in weight. He added that it is also likely that if the hours were extended, there could be an even more significant weight loss.
How Can a Person Lose Weight By Sleeping?
There are valid answers to the question many people are asking: "Just how does sleeping longer help someone lose weight?
One answer is that sleep and hunger are related based on two hormones. Ghrelin stimulates hunger, and it also increases sleep deprivation. Its counterpart, leptin, lets us know when we are full. In other words, when we don't get enough sleep, we don't have enough leptin to let us know we are not hungry. It might be easier to understand in layman's terms. Therefore, the simple answer is we are hungrier when we don't get enough sleep.
Kristen Knutson, an associate professor of sleep and preventive medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, believes our brain will tell us we need to eat when actually we need more sleep. Our brain becomes more activated when we are sleep deprived, and when we are sleep deprived we have cravings to eat junk foods or carbohydrates that keep us full and often overweight.
Your brain tells you that you are hungry when really it is sleep you need. Based on the study, you could save up to 500 calories a day when you get an extra hour of sleep each night.
If you are having problems losing weight, perhaps you should try this. You might have tried every diet before and still have not lost weight. Why not jump on this bandwagon and see what happens.
Try it for at least one week and see if you will lose weight.