Sleeping to lose weight?
In a study reported in the International Journal of Obesity researchers found that children who slept less than 10 hours a night were 3/5 times as likely to be overweight.
Of all the factors taken into consideration, such as parental obesity, socioeconomic status, parents' level of education, time spent in front of a screen, none had as much influence as time spent sleeping.
Researchers say that lack of sleep lowers the levels of a hormone called leptin that stimulates metabolism and decreases hunger, and increases the levels of ghrelin, a hormone that actually increases hunger.
The researchers also feel that the [lack of] sleep obesity link has wider implications. Between 1960 and 2000 the prevalence of obesity doubled while the average night sleep shrank by 2 hours. Over the same period the percentage of young adults who slept less than seven hours a night increased from 16% to 37%.
Read more on this story
In another story in Glamour Magazine relating to weight loss and sleep and some small scale experiments they did, getting 7 1/2 hours sleep a night was shown to be just as effective as exercise in losing weight.
In a study conducted over 16 years of almost 70,000 women, Sanjay Patel from the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland found that women who slept less than 5 hours/night were 30% more likely to gain 30 pounds (13.5 kg) or more than those who get more rest.
According to Michael Breus, Ph.D., clinical director of the sleep division at Southwest Spine & Sport in Scottsdale, Arizona, and author of Beauty Sleep, during deep sleep the brain secretes a large amount of growth hormone which tells the body how to break down fat for fuel. If the body is sleep deprived, there is not enough growth hormone to break down the fat.