You will eat 150 fewer calories a day if you get a good sleep at night – Diabetes Diet

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Adapted from Medscape Get More Sleep, Lose More Weight: A Randomised Trial by F. Perry Wilson MD MSCE.

Feb 7 2022

A study in JAMA Internal Medicine has shown that you can lose more weight just by lying in bed, having a good sleep. Because, if you sleep poorly, you will eat more the next day.

The whole thing becomes a vicious circle. Sleep loss leads to poor impulse control, and a preference for hypercaloric food. Long term stress can even increase eating disorders such as emotional eating.

Sleep loss increases Ghrelin and decreases Leptin which increases the appetite. Stress increases the Hypothalamus and Pituitary hormones and this increases Cortisol which attempts to dampen these down. Weight increases due to more calories being ingested and insulin resistance increases. Adiponectin decreases and you store more of your calories as fat. Your risk for obesity and diabetes increases.

My comment: When I worked as a Police Surgeon and GP I was often working all day, then a lot of the night, then all day. At 5 am when I often got home from a call out, I would crave toast, butter and Marmite. I have this about once a year now that I’m retired and when I wake through the night I may have a cup of tea, but I don’t feel like eating anything at all.

Dr Esra Tasali from the University of Chicago randomised 80 people, all of whom were overweight and getting less than 6.5 hours of sleep a night, to get personalised sleep recommendations to boost their sleep time or routine study visits where nothing was advised.

The suggestions were to decrease ambient light, create a bedtime routine, limit phone and TV use in bed, decrease caffeine intake and increasing daytime exercise. Each person was given a goal bedtime and wake up time schedule.

After two weeks, wrist monitors indicated that the intervention group was sleeping an extra 1.5 hours a night, which is approximately one full sleep cycle. This was maintained over the next two week monitoring period.

The calorie intake and output in the subjects was also measured by using doubly labelled water. Don’t ask me how this works!

They found that the extra sleep randomised group consumed 150 fewer calories a day. There was no increase in energy expenditure. On average they lost a pound in weight over the study period. They also reported being more alert, having a better mood and having more energy through the day.

Another tip I’ve heard elsewhere to improve sleep is to get outside in the morning for a bit of light exposure and exercise, even if it is winter or raining.



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