Sleep plays a big role in improving health in general, but what is new is that a study, the results of which were presented at the European Conference on Obesity earlier this month, determined the amount of sleep the body needs to maintain a healthy weight.
According to Mind Your Body Green, researchers from the University of Copenhagen directed nearly 200 obese adults to follow a strict diet for eight weeks. On average, participants lost 12% of their body weight. Then, various factors that could influence the ability to maintain weight loss over a year were studied, including monitoring of participants’ sleep habits and sleep quality.
Sleep and exercise
Study results reveal that getting enough quality sleep can be of great help when it comes to maintaining weight loss, and exercise improves sleep as well.
Not only did all participants increase sleep duration and sleep quality after following the diet for eight weeks, but individuals who exercised during the study were able to maintain this improved sleep, while those who did not exercise did not have the same results.
less than 6 hours
Participants, who slept less than six hours a night, on average, reported poorer sleep quality and also had an increase in BMI over the course of the year.
“It was surprising that researchers monitored how weight loss in adults improved sleep duration and quality in such a short time, and how exercising while trying to maintain less weight led to improved sleep duration and quality in such a short time,” study co-author Adrian Pugh explained in a press release. “It was also interesting to note that adults who don’t sleep enough or get a good night’s sleep after losing weight appear to be less successful in maintaining weight loss than those who get enough sleep.”
Adequate healthy weight
The researchers conclude, the findings show there is one more reason to prioritize getting enough high-quality sleep (more than six hours per night, according to the study, but subject to individual differences). The researchers advised everyone who has trouble sleeping to exercise appropriate because it can improve the quality of sleep and thus, in turn, help in maintaining a healthy weight.
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