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Old 07-28-2013, 02:22 AM   #1
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Default Sleep and weight loss?

I keep reading that sleep is important to weight loss. Has anyone noticed a difference on the scales when they got more/better sleep?

I'm currently flying solo with 4 kids while hubby is overseas. With it being summer vacation our schedule is all out of whack. Even if the kids go to bed at a somewhat reasonable hour I've been struggling with insomnia. School starts in 3 wks for all of us (I'm a full time student) so I'm working hard to get us back on a normal schedule but I am so. tired. all the time. I'm sticking to my calorie goals though and running 4x/wk. Tonight I ran 6 miles in 68 mins. I've steadily increased my pace, finally broke 10 min mile consistently this week. But yeah, I'm exhausted. I also have all the housework to do, plus I push mow our 1.3 acre yard once a week (4 hrs, usually do 1/2 one day and 1/2 the next). The scales are holding steady, I've lost 20 but have been stuck for the past 2 wks, though it is TOM so maybe I'll see a big loss next week. Do you think getting on a regular consistent schedule with 8 hrs of sleep will help?

I can't wait until hubby gets home this fall and I get some real rest
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Old 07-28-2013, 02:39 AM   #2
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I keep reading about that as well, everywhere. Apparently, quite a few hormone levels that are responsible for weight loss and hunger control have increased levels during sleep (including the growth hormone - responsible for cell regeneration). Sleep is particularly helpful if you exercise/are active, because that is the time that you give your body for regeneration and rest.

I was also reading in an article that the cortisol levels decrease during sleep and that having a low level of cortisol helps with weight loss. " Higher levels of cortisol lead to a lower metabolism. Breaking protein down into glucose is stimulated by cortisol. If you have too much glucose in your body, it will get stored as fat. On top of this, cortisol interferes with your body’s ability to build muscle mass. If you are trying to lose weight, you want to make sure that you have low cortisol levels in your blood. Getting enough sleep helps you do just that."

The sensation of hunger and fulness we have during the day is also tied to some hormones that are active during sleep and help keep hunger in check.

On top of that, you know about the Intermittent Fasting diet I assume. If you get a good night sleep, you don't even have to worry about counting hours of hunger, the IF will happen without you even knowing it.

I can't link the article I read because of my low post count, but I summed it up a little and you can read more interesting stuff if you google "weight loss and sleep". Hope this helps

Last edited by snowlilly : 07-28-2013 at 02:41 AM.
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Old 07-28-2013, 07:11 AM   #3
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I've had two nights broken sleep with my 7 month old being sick and I've has to fight REALLY hard to resist constant cravings whereas the days after he sleeps solidly 7-7 I find I have a 'natural' will power LOL sleep seems to be really playing a part for me!
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Old 07-28-2013, 07:46 AM   #4
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I had to do a paper last year on a study about this. It actually followed teenagers and their sleep patterns and the relationship to their eating habits. It did show that those that slept less were more likely to eat more. Very interesting.

Also there have been studies regarding shift work or over night workers and body weight. But even outsife of official studies, I've seen in my own experience as a nurse that over night staff are nearly always over weight and many of them sight difficultly losing weight. I've worked the overnights for extended periods myself and it was very difficult to not gain weight, forget losing weight. This was greatly impacted by being up all night and eating some nights and other times trying to be up during the day on days off...
As someone said there are theories that hormone levels are effected by sleep deprivation. The study I did the paper on referred to another study that showed that sleep effects leptins levels which in turn effect appetite etc.

With a new baby almost here I worry about trying to lose weight while sleep deprived. It may not just be about sticking to plan regardless of sleep deprivation, it may be that lack of sleep decreases weightloss over all. I have read enough to say this is always true, but it seems tha this is what is being discovered from what I have read.
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:00 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arrwillia View Post
I keep reading that sleep is important to weight loss. Has anyone noticed a difference on the scales when they got more/better sleep?

I'm currently flying solo with 4 kids while hubby is overseas. With it being summer vacation our schedule is all out of whack. Even if the kids go to bed at a somewhat reasonable hour I've been struggling with insomnia. School starts in 3 wks for all of us (I'm a full time student) so I'm working hard to get us back on a normal schedule but I am so. tired. all the time. I'm sticking to my calorie goals though and running 4x/wk. Tonight I ran 6 miles in 68 mins. I've steadily increased my pace, finally broke 10 min mile consistently this week. But yeah, I'm exhausted. I also have all the housework to do, plus I push mow our 1.3 acre yard once a week (4 hrs, usually do 1/2 one day and 1/2 the next). The scales are holding steady, I've lost 20 but have been stuck for the past 2 wks, though it is TOM so maybe I'll see a big loss next week. Do you think getting on a regular consistent schedule with 8 hrs of sleep will help?

I can't wait until hubby gets home this fall and I get some real rest
That IS tough!! I only have one 2yr old but I can tell you that things can get pretty insane around here. The only thing that keeps us from losing our minds is an iron-clad schedule. Bed time is non negotiable, as is play time, lunch, naps etc. I stick to it like my life depends on it. If your kids are a bit older can you enlist their help in household chores?

What I imagine to be difficult in a situation with 4 kids is having to constantly repeat yourself. "I told you to put your shoes away" is a fun thing to say 37 times isn't it? In my classroom the first thing I drill into my students is to never make me say anything twice. It works because I use charts charts charts! You can make a chart for each child according to what they are capable of accomplishing according to their age. I don't know how old your kids are but I know a 7yr old can somewhat make their bed, brush their teeth, put their toys away, help unload the dishwasher, etc. List all those chores and each chore completed gets a little sticker. If they earn all their stickers by the end of the day then they can get a prize such as extra time at the park, or a playdate, or they get to choose a program to watch or whatever. It makes it fun and gives them incentive.

If your kids are too young for this then I suggest you create your own reward system and give yourself stickers and prizes for surviving your day perhaps reward yourself with a dirty martini if you can get all the kiddos to bed by 8pm.
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Old 07-28-2013, 11:15 AM   #6
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I've never noticed sleep affecting my weight loss one way or another, but I attended a lecture by an internationally renowned obesity researcher who found that sleeping either less than 6 hours or MORE than 9 hours interferes with weight loss because it dysregulates the hormones involved in appetite control.

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Old 07-28-2013, 02:12 PM   #7
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Oh and yes I have noticed a significant weight gain when not getting proper sleep. I sleep 6-8 hrs every night and have learned to do that by eliminating caffeine past 9am, light yoga before bed and eating less at night. If I eat a lot at night or too late at night I have trouble going to sleep.
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Old 07-28-2013, 03:44 PM   #8
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When I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, my pulmonologist (the sleep study doctor) told me that using the cpap would probably cause some weight loss, even if I didn't change anything else.

I thought he was absolutely NUTS, as I've never lost weight without trying. At the time I didn't have a home scale and was certainly not trying. At my next doctor's appointment I had lost 20 lbs without trying.

For me, sleep is even more important for my other health issues than for the weight. Sleep deprivation is my greatest flare trigger for my fibromyalgia and autoimmune disease flares (many fibromyalgia doctors believe fibromyalgia may actually be primarily a sleep disorder).

If you chronically deprive rats of sleep, they die of immune dysfunction. When my neurologist told me that, it was something I already knew (from college and graduate school), but hadn't ever thought of in terms of my own symptoms.

My experience isn't typical. I endured decades of chronic sleep deprivation (working swing and double shifts, working my way through college and graduate school and working multiple jobs) before I noticed any seriously negative effects (or tied them to sleep when I did experience them).

If I had to do it all over again, I would give sleep top priority as I need to give it now.
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Old 07-28-2013, 03:53 PM   #9
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If I go a couple of nights without sleeping well I definitely am more hungry than I normally am. I think that my body realizes that it needs more energy and is trying to get it through food.
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Old 07-28-2013, 04:33 PM   #10
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Sleep is absolutely correlated with weight loss. I did 3 different papers and a presentation on the topic for college assignments, actually. Among others, leptin, ghrelin, growth hormone, and cortisol are all big players in the sleep-hunger system.
Personally, if I'm not getting adequate sleep then I don't see scale losses - sometimes even gains. Like freelancemomma said, statistically speaking sleeping excessively (>9 hours for adults, more for teens and children) is also bad for weight loss, but I don't know many people who sleep that much, haha.
I know life and other people make sleep difficult sometimes (I should know, I live with 6 younger siblings under 12 years old who don't like to sleep! ) but if weight loss is your goal, I'd say do your best to make sleep a priority.
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Old 07-28-2013, 05:41 PM   #11
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I have to watch my sleep patterns carefully. It is more when I go to bed rather than how long I sleep. If I stay up half the night, I get chronically inflamed and that affects heart health. This, in turn, leads to fluid retention and weight gain. I am sure hormones are involved. There are plenty of studies out now that show cardiovascular problems in shift workers. We (probably all our cells) have an internal clock that regulates our metabolism.

I often worked nights when I had to make a deadline and survived on 2-4 hrs of sleep a night. I found that I need to eat more and preferably carbs to get through that. Maybe that is where the weight gain is mainly coming from. Your clock gets out of whack and your body tells you to eat. Given that you sleep less, you also have more time to eat.
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:27 AM   #12
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I don't know what it translates into in terms of hormones, but I've always thought that, logically, sleeping less = being awake for a longer time = getting hungry again = eating. (Being hungry while I'm asleep never wakes me up, nor prevents me from falling asleep, on the contrary.) The same way, if you sleep from 10 pm until, say, noon, you automatically skip breakfast --> less calories eaten during the day.

But it's probably one of those things that depend on individuals. I also know people who can't sleep if they're even slightly hungry, whereas if I eat past 7 pm, it means I just can't sleep before midnight-1 am (too much energy still in my system, I suppose).
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Old 08-04-2013, 10:33 PM   #13
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i have insomnia and always snack at night. It's more out of boredom and frustration from lack of sleep than actual hunger.
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Old 08-05-2013, 01:01 AM   #14
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I know that I struggle to stay within 1500 calories when I wake up at 5 a.m. and am physically active most of the day and go to bed at 9 p.m....I HAVE to get to sleep on time or it's impossibly hard to wake up at 5 a.m....I also sleep better if I don't eat near bedtime....
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Old 08-05-2013, 05:19 AM   #15
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Mori M - I suffer from insomnia, too, depending on the periods. Sometimes, I found myself taking my bike at 5 am to go to the nearest park and watch the animals there, just because I was so annoyed...

alaskanlaughter - As I said in my previous post, to me, it makes a lot of sense. Food is fuel, so if we fuel our bodies right before sleeping, even though part of this energy is then diverted towards digesting, I find it logical that we're ready for "action" and not for "rest".
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