Finding it difficult to lose those 5lbs? Inadequate sleep may be the reason

Sleep is a vital component of weight loss, and losing out of a couple of hours could be the hindrance to dropping down to that coveted pant size. Lack of sleep increases our craving for salt and sugar, and increases the frequency of those morning caffeine cravings, signaling the impending decrease in physical activity. The effects can be even more severe when sleep deprivation is involuntary, like if you have sleep apnea. A new study, featured last week in Medpage Today shows that calorie intake rises as sleep time drops, and may lead to obesity:

Healthy individuals ate almost 550 extra calories when they missed out on an average 1 hour 20 minutes of sleep…But activity didn’t increase to compensate during the extra time awake…Those unburned calories likely “would accumulate and eventually translate into extra fat…Lack of sleep probably does contribute to weight gain and obesity.”

Getting enough sleep seems like an easy part of weight loss, but it can be the most difficult component, especially for folks with sleep apnea. But exercise, a change in unhealthy before-bedtime habits (e.g., TV watching), and general healthy living could help put you on track to better sleep.

Accelerate your weight loss, and look young (it really is beauty rest) by getting adequate sleep. Please share any tips you may have for some of us light sleepers!

Dr John Ellis MD

Board-certified anesthesiologist, with expertise in cardiovascular anesthesia and the implications of obesity and sleep apnea in anesthesia. See for professional information. Dr. Ellis has used the strategies in here to: (1) lose 120 lbs over 18 months, (2) stop all antihypertensive medicines, and (3) no longer need CPAP treatment for sleep apnea.

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