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Entries in Sleep Deprivation (11)

Tuesday
Oct052010

Sleep Deprivation May Sabotage Weight Loss Efforts

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- If you're trying to lose weight, you may have more to worry about than what you eat, or how much exercise you get, according to a new study.

Researchers from the University of Chicago and the University of Wisconsin-Madison have found that not getting enough sleep may sabotage weight loss efforts because of an association between less sleep and a decrease in fat loss.

The study assigned 10 overweight or obese participants to two groups -- one that got 5.5 hours of sleep and another that got 8.5 hours of sleep over two periods, each lasting 14 days. All participants were given the same caloric intake and activity regimens. At the end of the study, researchers found while all subjects lost the same amount of weight, the ones who got less sleep lost less fat and more muscle than the group which got more sleep.

Sleep and weight loss experts say the study's findings are significant, since few have looked at the relationship between sleep deprivation and metabolism. A study like this one, experts say, adds to the growing body of knowledge on the negative impact of not getting enough sleep. They also say the small size of the study is typical of research that carefully monitors sleep and metabolic processes.

"It suggests that short sleep may confer some negative metabolic consequences," said Gary Foster, director of Temple University's Center for Obesity Research and Education, in Philadelphia, Pa.

While they agree that the findings are compelling, sleep and weight loss specialists say  a study with only 10 subjects makes it hard to pinpoint exact causes for decreased fat loss. Nonetheless, they say the study emphasizes how important it is to get a good night's sleep.

"It shows us that we ought to be thinking about ways to incorporate sleep hygiene into standard weight control programs," said Foster.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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