We know that sleep is important for health, but if you’re trying to lose weight it becomes even more important. One study looked specifically at the relationship between sleep and body composition during a weight loss diet examined the effects of sleeping either 5.5hrs or 8.5hrs a night in 10 men and women consuming a controlled 10% calorie deficit
As the diet was calorie controlled, the subjects predictably lost the same absolute amount of weight over a 14-day period [3kg. However, of that weight subjects in the 5.5hr sleep group lost 55% less fat and lost 60% lean body mass compared to the group sleeping 8.5hrs.
In another trial, 19 healthy males with a habitual baseline sleep time of 7-7.5hrs/night, were assigned to either continue habitual sleep duration or decrease nightly sleep time by 90mins, for 3 weeks. The study was a “free-living” study, so the participants continued with their normal diets and slept at home. Over the first week, weight in the sleep curtailed group dropped, before increasing over subsequent weeks. This study showed that, while many studies look at severe restriction of 4-5.5hrs/night, more persistent but less severe sleep curtailment can result into an accumulated negative effect.
So, the bottom line is that sleep can be a make-or-break determinant of your weight loss efforts, so make sure it’s an asset, not a hindrance.
As always, stay fit, and stay healthy!
– Team Bua Fit
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