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Sleep to Lose Weight

  • Posted: April 28, 2011 
  • Filed under: Articles

By Dr. Lisa Shives

According to a recent article published in the Chicago Sun Times, failing to get the sleep you need will sabotage your weight-loss efforts, even if you are dieting and exercising properly.

The article states that a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that overweight people on a reduced-calorie diet lost more weight from fat if they slept eight hours a night than those who slept less than six hours a night.

An article published by WebMD explains that new research shows that sleep disruption can negatively affect Leptin (a chemical that sends signals to indicate fullness) and Ghrelin(a chemical that stimulates the appetite).  When you fail to get the sleep you need, your Leptin levels decrease, meaning that you don’t feel full even after you’ve eaten and Ghrelin levels increase, which means you feel hungry, even if you’ve just eaten.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine reports that research shows that routine exercising can improve sleep. Exercising 4-8 hours before bedtime can help primary insomnia patients get to sleep faster, wake up less often and increase total time asleep. Aerobic exercise may help reduce anxiety at bedtime, leading to better sleep.

Research shows that poor sleep is related to many serious health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Many people fail to make sleep a priority; however, many also suffer from undiagnosed  sleep disorders. If you suffer from insomnia-like symptoms, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, daytime sleepiness and un-refreshing sleep for more than a month, you should contact a sleep doctor in order to diagnose and treat your sleep problems.

Copyright 2011, Dr. Lisa Shives

Dr. Shives works with SleepBetter.org to provide a medical view of sleep issues. She is one of only a few practitioners with a fellowship in Sleep Medicine in addition to board certification by both the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Sleep Medicine.

Learn more about Dr. Lisa Shives by clicking here.