Need to lose some weight?
Forget counting calories and forget working out this week.
Try this instead: sleep.
A new study, conducted by Uppsala University in Sweden, suggests that sleep loss may contribute to weight gain.
One night of sleep loss.
Yes. One night.
Sleep deprivation alters the fundamental gene expression that helps us retain muscle and keep inflammation at bay.
The study’s lead researcher, Jonathan Cedernaes, said in a 2016 interview:
The comparison to exercise is also interesting, as proper sleep turns out to be just as important as exercise, even more important from a lot of perspectives.
There’s been a lot of hype about eating well and performing daily exercise, but all of these factors are intimately linked to one another, which is why it is important to try to optimize all three. Just as time is set aside for exercise, time should be set aside each day for proper rest and sleep, realizing that this can improve many aspects of general well-being. Sometimes that means that one will need to skip an occasion for exercise, to instead try to pay back some of the sleep that has been lost e.g. during the working week.
How much sleep do you need to keep your body weight at bay? A 2010 study that compared sleep and BMI in 1,224 twins showed that the “short sleeping” twin (less than 7 hours per night) weighed more than the twin who slept 7-8.9 hours per night.
So this month, try sleeping your way to weight loss.