Getting enough sleep is essential for maintaining important physical systems and mental wellness. Sleep deprivation has been linked to a variety of health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and depression.
According to study, insufficient sleep is connected to obesity. Furthermore, research have indicated that those with irregular sleep patterns are more likely to be fat and to have cardiovascular problems.
A deeper knowledge of how sleep increases the risk of obesity could aid in the development of effective treatments and prevention strategies for the illness.
Researchers recently investigated how well people sleep and how well they stick to diets. They discovered that greater adherence to a 12-month weight loss approach was linked to better sleep.
The findings were presented at the American Heart Foundation’s Epidemiology, Prevention, Lifestyle, and Cardiometabolic Health Scientific Sessions 2023.
How Better Sleep Affects Behaviour
For the study, the researchers gathered 125 people who were overweight or obese and had an average age of 50. They were all involved in a 12-month behavioural weight loss programme.
The researchers assessed six elements of individuals’ sleep using questionnaires and wearable technology at the start of the trial, six months later, and a year later.
The researchers utilised a phone app to track individuals’ daily calorie intake as well as changes in their average daily level of moderate-vigorous physical activity.
Researchers discovered that participants who had better sleep health were more likely to attend group intervention sessions and keep to their calorie intake goals.
They also observed a statistically insignificant link between physical activity and sleep quality.
In a press release, Dr. Christopher E. Kline, an associate professor in the department of health and human development at the University of Pittsburgh and one of the study’s authors, says, “We expected to see a link between sleep health and all three of our measures of lifestyle change.”
Even though we did not impact sleep quality in this trial, these findings suggest that improving sleep may enhance adherence to lifestyle changes.
Link Between Enough Sleep And Losing Weight
Dr. David Spiegel, professor and associate chair of psychiatry and behavioural sciences at Stanford University Medical Center, who was not involved in the study, believes that while you sleep, your body undergoes unique changes that allow the type of relaxation that is essential to your overall health.
Sleep allows the brain to repair and update synapses, improving its ability to regulate behaviour. It also gives you more energy and clarity the next day, increasing the effectiveness of your workout. In the long run, this can help patients stick to a weight loss plan, he says.
Dr. Sarah-Nicole Bostan, Signos’ director of behaviour change strategy, who was not involved in the study, told MNT that sleep deprivation is a stressor on the body, particularly on cardiometabolic health:
[Lack of sleep] turns on a number of physiological pathways, which can lead to increased insulin resistance or high blood glucose levels over time. Both of these have been linked to an increase in body fat, especially around the belly. Getting more rest can weaken the link between how you lose weight and how much weight you lose. — Sarah-Nicole Bostan, M.D.
Joel Totoro, the director of sports science at Thorne HealthTech, who also wasn’t part of the study, told MNT the following:
The body’s circadian rhythmicity regulates the sleep and waking periods. The circadian rhythm influences ghrelin and leptin, two hormones that help govern our hunger and how much we eat.
When we don’t get enough sleep, the hormone that makes us feel hungry, ghrelin, rises while the hormone that makes us feel full, leptin, lowers. As a result of these unfavourable alterations, we may overeat, especially if we are tired or stressed.
Totoro, Billy Totoro
Sapna Bhalsod, a licenced dietician at WellTheory and a non-participant in the study, spoke to MNT about how sleep loss may affect our bodies’ levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Throughout our sleep cycle, the body creates, repairs, and processes, such that when you wake up, your cortisol, or stress hormone, is at its peak to begin the day. When we get less than perfect sleep, we miss out on REM sleep, which helps to modulate our cortisol levels, according to the expert.
Cortisol, a glucocorticosteroid, has a direct effect on our blood sugar and metabolism. When our blood sugar is out of sync, so is our cortisol. It can promote tiredness and sugar cravings, making it far more difficult to stick to weight loss strategies, she added.