Want To Lose Weight? Try Sleeping More

I’m a terrible sleeper. Have been for years, with bouts of low-thryroid-induced insomnia thrown in for added angst. And my inability to sleep at night for more than four or five hours is getting even worse in my dotage. Hey. Maybe that’s why I’m gaining weight.

Here’s from The Daily Mail, “Struggling to sleep? You’ll pile on the pounds: Less than five and a half hours is bad for your weight“:

Have you been getting enough beauty sleep lately? If not, this might encourage you to turn in a little earlier.

According to scientists, getting less than five and a half hours of sleep a night could see you gain nearly a stone in a year.

They say that even if diet and exercise habits remained the same, the changes in the body’s metabolism can cause the pounds to pile on.

The team of researchers believe this could explain why people tend to become larger as they get older and often struggle to get enough sleep at night.

They also think it could explain why night shift workers who struggle to sleep during the day are more prone to being overweight.

The academics from Boston compared the effects of sleep on 21 volunteers over six weeks.

They started off having ten hours of sleep a night but this was then reduced to just over five and a half hours at any time during the day.

Often volunteers were attempting to doze off during the day time when their body clock was telling them that they should be up and about.

The researchers found that when the subjects were deprived of sleep their metabolism rate dropped by 12 per cent.

If this rate comes down, less energy or  calories will be used up so weight will be gained – even if exercise levels and diets are unchanged.It was calculated that when the volunteers slept for less than five and a half hours they burned off 120 fewer calories that day.

Over the course of a year this would lead them to put on 12.5 pounds, just under a stone.

Whew. And I was starting to fret that my nightly happy hour ritual of hoisting a few glasses of Jameson might have something to do with my expanding waistline.

Clearly, I can get by on a limited amount of sleep.

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