I think I have a built in alarm clock, I go to bed around 11 and up at 6 religiously. I don't set an alarm clock, my eyes just open within 10 minutes of 6 am. Do I wish I could sleep longer...sometimes. I have heard various rumors on sleep and weight loss...so I decided to research the topic. Is there any correlation? Does it really help you loose weight? Let's look at the studies..
Researchers have reported that women who sleep 5 hours or less per night generally weigh more than women who sleep 7 hours per night. These findings, presented at the 2006 American Thoracic Society International Conference, showed that women who slept 5 hours per night were 32% more likely to experience major weight gain (an increase of 33 pounds or more) and 15% more likely to become obese over the course of the 16-year study, compared to those who slept 7 hours a night.
Those women who slept 6 hours per night were still 12% more likely to experience major weight gain, and 6% more likely to become obese, compared to women who slept 7 hours a night. This is the largest study to track the effects of sleep habits on weight gain over time; it included nearly 70,000 middle-aged women.
Okay with those numbers does that mean if your sleeping your not eating? Or does the sleep help you lose weight? Were the women who were getting less sleep also eating more? The answer was no. In fact, the opposite was true.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the average woman gets only six and a half hours of sleep per night. Chronic sleep deprivation can have a variety of effects on the metabolism and overall health.
1. interferes with the body's ability to metabolize carbohydrates and causes high blood levels of glucose, which leads to higher insulin levels and greater body-fat storage.
2. drives down leptin levels, which causes the body to crave carbohydrates.
3. reduces levels of growth hormone--a protein that helps regulate the body's proportions of fat and muscle.
4. can lead to insulin resistance and contribute to increased risk of diabetes
5. can increase blood pressure
6. can increase the risk of heart disease
Even in young, healthy people, a sleep deficit of three to four hours a night over the course of a week has a triple-whammy effect on the body.
So go grab some shut-eye!