Lose Weight While … Sleeping?

200140664-001This month’s Glamour features a cover story called “Lose Weight While You Sleep.”

The results are pretty surprising and, when looked at holistically, seem to make sense — in that if someone is getting 8 hours of sleep, they are likely not noshing late at night and likely have more energy to exercise and therefore are likely eat better … and so it goes.

I have to say, I’ve been focusing on more sleep lately and I even posted about sleep and exercise a couple weeks ago … but I’ve not seen any results on the scale. But I also haven’t been giving it a conscious thoguht, either.

And though I usually think “diets” like this are a crock, I think the article makes some good points that any of us could benefit from.

“Science shows that sleep deprivation wreaks havoc on hormones that control appetite, cravings and the metabolism of fat.”
Bingo!!! I was definitely not sleeping a lot this summer/fall. And I gained weight!

“Whether you notice it or not, you probably eat more, sometimes much more, when you’re tired.”
Amen!!! This is soooo true.

The women lost inches. “During deep sleep, your brain secretes a large amount of growth hormone, which tells your body how to break down fat for fuel,” explains Breus. “Deprive your body of deep sleep, and when extra calories get stored as fat, there isn’t enough growth hormone to break it down. So your body takes a shortcut and packs it away in your butt, thighs, belly—wherever you tend to put on weight.”
Exactly!! That’s where I’ve gained it (tummy, hips).

The women were asked not to make any changes to their diet or exercise, but by focusing on sleep, some habits changed, naturally. In my case, I already exercise regularly and eat pretty well. But maybe something else would change if I made a conscious effort to focus on sleep? (Stress levels would decrease, perhaps?)

All in all, the article was worth a quick read, if you get the chance and are interested in sleep research from a broader, more holistic standpoint than just weight loss.

Really, sleep — not just milk! — does a body good.

How about you? Do you think this notion of sleep leading to weight loss is a gimmick or has some merit?

10 thoughts on “Lose Weight While … Sleeping?

  1. I think having a balanced life in general helps to maintain or lose weight. Having a steady schedule and feeling rested make me much more motivated to go for my goals and stay healthy 🙂 Sleep definitely plays a part in that.

  2. I think getting enough sleep helps but too much or not enough is both unhealthy. Isnt it supposed to be before 11 for the best sleep and 8 hrs max to live the longest?

  3. I can definitely see the truth in this article. I know that when I am sleep-deprived, I’m cranky, and when I’m cranky, I am more likely to make poor food choices!

  4. This makes a lot of sense to me. Lately, more and more we’re hearing and reading about how keeping a balanced life in all areas leads to optimum health. You CAN eat regular foods, just in moderation. You don’t have to work out 2-3 hours a day to be fit. Don’t eat too little, don’t go to extremes. Who doesn’t love to sleep? And why wouldn’t you want to try to sleep more if it helps you keep a healthy, balanced lifestyle? I know I’m going to try to get to bed a little earlier. No one likes to be a cranky sleepyhead in the morning!

  5. I have never been able to nap, or gotten too much sleep, but I def don’t always get enough!

    Exactly, it’s about balance. Ironic that as a Libra, I struggle with this. I tend to take exercise to the extremes … and when I do I am hungry and make poor choices. Hoping the trainer will tell me what I want to hear but haven’t done: cut back on cardio, up weights! She is going to have me super-setting.

  6. I think this is completely, 100% true! I remember reading in a book awhile back that evening snackers (me!) tend to nosh on food a lot of times simply because they’re tired. Because food gives us energy, it’s natural for our bodies to fight that tiredness with food (and, to me, a lot more appealing…though I love my sleep). 😉

    In the past year or so I’ve even been taking melatonin to help me get sleepy at night (naturally a night owl). Not only do I feel more rested, but if I’m in bed by 11 then I cut out some of the time in the evening when I was/am prone to binges.

    Very interesting article!

  7. I’ve never thought about the connection between sleep and weight loss specifically, but I have studied the effects of sleep deprivation on mood, depression and general health enough to see how this could easily be true.

    I doubt it will make me feel less guilty about napping though!

  8. I definitely concur on this one…even back in my 20’s when I was working as an Army Nurse and rotating shifts…I would notice that when I didn’t get enough sleep, I was always hungrier on those night shifts. My thinking was, well, the body knows it needs SOMETHING and since you can’t give it sleep right now…you CAN give it food. well, my reasoning isn’t THAT far off…of course it is the hormones being out of whack etc, but I definitely notice it now that I am almost 60 and if I my sleep is not sound, I’m much hungrier during the day. Sleep! it does the body good! I expect many people are sleep deprived and they are on the roads, performing services for you and even doing SURGERY while sleep deprived. I always wondered why many health care professionals are some of the LEAST healthy people, and they are giving US advice. Hmmm.

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