Successful Fat Loss May Require Adequate Sleep

Short sleep appears to attenuate weight loss efforts of overweight dieters
By Monica Smith
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Overweight dieters who don't get enough sleep may lose less fat and more fat-free body mass while experiencing greater hunger than those who get adequate nightly rest, according to research published in the Oct. 5 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

To determine whether lack of sleep attenuates the impact of calorie reduction on excess adiposity, Arlet V. Nedeltcheva, M.D., of the University of Chicago, and colleagues randomized 10 overweight adults (mean body mass index, 27.4 kg/m² to 8.5 or 5.5 hours of sleep per night while following a moderately calorie-restricted diet for two weeks.

The researchers found a 55 percent reduction in proportion of weight lost as fat and a 60 percent increase in the loss of fat-free body mass among those sleeping only 5.5 hours per night. These subjects also showed markers of enhanced neuroendocrine adaptation to a reduction in calories, increased hunger, and a shift toward lower fat oxidation.

"The amount of human sleep contributes to the maintenance of fat-free body mass at times of decreased energy intake. Lack of sufficient sleep may compromise the efficacy of typical dietary interventions for weight loss and related metabolic risk reduction," the authors write.

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