More sleep reduces more weight, a game changer for weight loss | Sunday Observer

More sleep reduces more weight, a game changer for weight loss

1 May, 2022

When you go to a jogging path or gym, you can see so many people walking or running around. They try hard to reduce their weight as they think without dieting and proper exercise they’ll get fat. Some of them fear about obesity as well, because they are the people who do their office work just seated the whole day. In fact, there is a new word for this in the West as ‘obesity epidemic’ which explains the size of the issue. But what is the real answer for obesity or a fatty body? Or how can one reduce his or her weight?

A new study in the United States reveals that getting sufficient sleep reduces caloric intake in a real-world setting.

Extraordinary results

Esra Tasali, MD, Director of the UChicago Sleep Centre at the University of Chicago Medicine, has carried out this research along with her colleagues at UChicago and the University of Wisconsin–Madison. They did a randomised clinical trial with 80 adults, and found that young, overweight adults who habitually slept fewer than 6.5 hours a night were able to increase their sleep duration by an average of 1.2 hours per night after a personalised sleep hygiene counseling session. The sleep intervention was intended to extend the time in bed duration to 8.5 hours — and the increased sleep duration compared to controls also reduced participants’ overall caloric intake by an average of 270 kcal (calories) per day. The results were published on February 7 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Sleep restriction affects appetite

The impact of sleep restriction is that it affects appetite regulation leading to increased food intake.

“Over the years, we and others have shown that sleep restriction has an effect on appetite regulation that leads to increased food intake, and thus puts you at risk for weight gain over time,” said Tasali for The

Forefront magazine on February 7, 2022. “More recently, the question that everyone was asking was, “Well, if this is what happens with sleep loss, can we extend sleep and reverse some of these adverse outcomes?”

No control over dietary habits

The new study not only examines the effects of sleep extension on caloric intake but, importantly, does so in a real-world setting, with no manipulation or control over participants’ dietary habits. Participants slept in their own beds, tracked their sleep with wearable devices, and otherwise followed their normal lifestyle without any instructions on diet or exercise.

“Most other studies on this topic in labs are short-lived, for a couple of days, and food intake is measured by how much participants consume from an offered diet,” said Tasali. “In our study, we only manipulated sleep, and had the participants eat whatever they wanted, with no food logging or anything else to track their nutrition by themselves.”

The test involves a person drinking water Dr. Alison Caldwell (PhD) wrote for The Forefront on February 7, 2022:

“Instead, to objectively track participants’ caloric intake, investigators relied on the ‘doubly labeled water’ method and change in energy stores. This urine-based test involves a person drinking water in which both the hydrogen and oxygen atoms have been replaced with less common, but naturally occurring, stable isotopes that are easy to trace. The use of this technique in humans was pioneered by the study’s senior author Dale A. Schoeller, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Sciences at UW–Madison”So Schoeller said for The Forefront.

“This is considered the gold standard for objectively measuring daily energy expenditure in a non-laboratory, real-world setting and it has changed the way human obesity is studied.”

In this way, individuals who increased their sleep duration were, overall, able to reduce their caloric intake by an average of 270 kcal per day – which would translate to roughly 12 kg, or 26 lbs., of weight loss over three years if the effects were maintained over a long term.

Intervention’s simplicity

The most surprising aspect of this study was the intervention’s simplicity. “We saw that after just a single sleep counseling session, participants could change their bedtime habits enough to lead to an increase in sleep duration,” said Tasali. “We simply coached each individual on good sleep hygiene, and discussed their own personal sleep environments, providing tailored advice on changes they could make to improve their sleep duration. Importantly, to blind participants to sleep intervention, recruitment materials did not mention sleep intervention, allowing us to capture true habitual sleep patterns at baseline.”

Even though the study did not systematically assess factors that may have influenced sleep behaviour,“limiting the use of electronic devices before bedtime appeared as a key intervention,” said Tasali.

According to the researchers, following just a single counseling session, participants could increase their average sleep duration by over an hour a night. They say, despite prescribing no other lifestyle changes, most participants had a large decrease in how much they ate, with some participants eating as many as 500 fewer calories per day.

A four-week study

The study was taken for a total of four weeks, with two weeks for gathering baseline information about sleep and caloric intake, followed by two weeks to monitor the effects of the sleep intervention.

“This was not a weight-loss study,” said Tasali. “But even within just two weeks, we have quantified evidence showing a decrease in caloric intake and a negative energy balance — caloric intake is less than calories burned. If healthy sleep habits are maintained over longer duration, this would lead to clinically important weight loss over time. Many people are working hard to find ways to decrease their caloric intake to lose weight — well, just by sleeping more, you may be able to reduce it substantially.”

Sleep more, reduce more weight

So Esra Tasali, director of the UChicago Sleep Centere, sums up: “Just by sleeping more, you may be able to reduce [your caloric intake] substantially.”

Meanwhile, Tasali and her team hope to examine the underlying mechanisms that may explain these results, and believe this work should spur new, larger studies on weight control to determine if extending sleep can support weight-loss programs and help prevent or reverse obesity.

“In our earlier work, we understood that sleep is important for appetite regulation,” said Tasali. “Now we’ve shown that in real life, without making any other lifestyle changes, you can extend your sleep and eat fewer calories. This could really help people trying to lose weight.”

The study, “Effect of Sleep Extension on Objectively Assessed Energy Intake Among Adults with Overweight in Real-Life Settings,” was supported by the National Institutes of Health and the Diabetes Research and Training Centre at UChicago. Additional authors include Kristen Wroblewski, Eva Kahn,and Jennifer Kilkus of UChicago and Dale A. Schoeller of the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Considering all these, one can have a better understanding on the underlying causes of obesity and how to prevent it. However, though this is an eye opening revelation, it is not so for people of conventional societies in our villages because they knew by their collective consciousness the value of good sleep while working all day long at the paddy field. So this, indirectly, suggests the importance of the old life style as well.