Planning To Lose Weight In 2003? Experts Say "Think Sleep"
For the millions of Americans who have resolved to lose weight this year, success may depend on how much they sleep.
published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and
the Lancet suggest that sleep loss may increase hunger and affect the
body’s metabolism, which may make it more difficult to maintain
or lose weight.
has been shown to affect the secretion of cortisol, a hormone that
regulates the appetite; as a result, individuals who lose sleep may
continue to feel hungry despite adequate food intake, JAMA said. In
addition, sleep loss may interfere with the body’s ability to
metabolize carbohydrates and cause high blood levels of glucose, a
basic sugar; excess glucose promotes the overproduction of insulin,
which can promote the storage of body fat and also can lead to insulin
resistance, a critical feature of adult-onset diabetes, according to
the JAMA report.
is associated with striking alterations in hormone levels that regulate
the appetite and may be a contributing factor to obesity," said Dr.
Michael Thorpy, director of the Sleep-Wake Disorders Center at New York
City’s Montefiore Medical Center. "Any American making a
resolution to lose weight in the New Year should probably consider a
parallel commitment for getting more sleep."
national research statistics, weight loss in the number-one New
Year’s resolution in America, with approximately 40 percent of
the population promising to diet. A nationwide survey found that more
than 75 percent of women between the ages of 25 and 54 make diet
resolutions almost every year. However, nearly 90 percent of the
respondents reported either occasional or no success, with almost half
losing little weight or actually gaining weight, the survey found.
disrupts a complex and interwoven series of metabolic and hormonal
processes and may be a contributing factor to obesity," said Dr. John
Winkelman, medical director of the Sleep Health Center at Brigham and
Women’s Hospital in Boston and assistant professor of psychiatry
at Harvard Medical School. "What most people do not realize is that
better sleep habits may beinstrumental to the success of any weight
Sleep Foundation recommends that people who vow to lose weight this
year should adjust their sleep habits and their eating habits. The
foundation says the following tips will help Americans keep their
resolution on track:
* Don’t go to bed feeling hungry, but don’t eat a big meal right before bedtime.
* Exercise regularly, but do so at least three hours before bedtime.
* Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol in the late afternoon and evening.
* If you have trouble sleeping at night, don’t nap during the day.
* Establish relaxing pre-sleep rituals, such as a warm bath or a few minutes of reading.
* Create a pleasant sleep environment. Make it as dark and quiet and possible.
* If you
can’t sleep, don’t stay in bed fretting. After 30 minutes,
go to another room and involve yourself in a relaxing activity until
you feel sleepy.
your trouble sleeping lasts for more than a few weeks, of if sleep
problems interfere with daily functioning, seek a physician’s
advice, the foundation suggests.