Weight loss linked to sleep - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/12/09

Weight loss linked to sleep

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By Cassie Hataway | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - You've heard the saying, "Early to bed, early to rise, makes one healthy, wealthy and wise!" Some researchers believe we can add "thinner" to that list. 

At the University of Utah Sleep-Wake Center, they treat patients for sleep apnea with a common breathing device that helps patients get 8 hours of sleep. This was not a weight loss study, but in this sleep study, researchers discovered that weight loss was a side effect that no one expected among the group that slept 8 hours or more a night. 

The Utah researchers say there's no proof that the more sleep you get, the more weight you'll lose. Other studies have shown, though, the other side: that people who don't get enough sleep, tend to gain weight. The theory is that sleep may affect your weight because of two hormones called grelin and leptin. "Sleep deprivation affects those hormones causing an increase in grelin , so the gas is on and then the leptin is low and that's the brake and the brake is off so you eat more," said Paul Teman, M.D., a pulmonary disease specialist.

Sleep study patient Ann Jensen added, "I've lost seven pounds and I've only been on it a week. I don't feel like I need to snack. You know, when you're tired or you don't feel well, I think one of the comfort foods is snacking".

According to researchers at case Western University in Cleveland, those who shorten their shut eye to five hours or less per night are 30% more likely to gain 30 or more pounds compared to those who get a full night's sleep.  Researchers agree more study is needed to see exactly where sleep fits in to weight loss.

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