How You Can Lose Weight by Sleeping More
05/04/2012 10:52 AM
Yes, you read the title of this post correctly. Recent studies have actually found a strong link between weight loss and the amount of sleep you get each night. It has to do with genetics:
"The less sleep you get, the more your genes contribute to how much you weigh. The more sleep you get, the less your genes determine how much you weigh," says lead author Nathaniel Watson, a neurologist and co-director of the University of Washington Medicine Sleep Center in Seattle.
In analyzing data on height, weight and sleep duration of 604 pairs of identical twins and 484 sets of fraternal twins, Watson and his collegues found that those who slept longer at night (about 9 hours) had lower BMIs and less genetic risk of elevated BMIs.
For twins averaging more than nine hours of sleep, genetic factors accounted for about 32% of weight variations; for those sleeping less than seven hours, genetic factors accounted for 70% of weight variations. For those sleeping seven to nine hours, 60% of the variation was due to genetic factors. Other factors that affect BMI include environmental ones.
So basically, if you have a genetic predisposition to gain weight, you can counteract it by simply getting more (8.5-9 hours of) sleep. This won't be the only factor that helps you with your weight loss goals, but it's certainly a start in giving you a fighting chance. And you may not need to bother with pricier weight loss solutions!
To read more about the research, head on over to USA Today's Sleep lessens the effect genes have on weight.