Need a holiday handknit? Time for a Schmatta!

Lose Weight While You Sleep? Yes, Please!

Dear Kay,
OK, this sleep thing? Now I’ve got some SERIOUS motivation for all of us who seem to have retained every holiday nibble we snarfed in the past month. (O small red potatoes with sour cream nestled inside? I regret eating so many of you at that party!)
Brilliant reader Allison alerted me to an article in Glamour magazine, “Lose Weight While You Sleep.”
The article says, “What exactly is the sleep-weight connection? Science shows that sleep deprivation wreaks havoc on hormones that control appetite, cravings and the metabolism of fat.”
The sciencey part sounds plausible–but what got my attention is the little field test they did with some women who were ordered to change only one thing in their routines: the amount of sleep they got. After ten weeks, every participant lost weight: from 6 to 15 pounds.
EVERY participant, y’all! YOU SNOOZE, YOU LOSE!
Glamour even provides a guide, “You Can Do This! The Sleep Diet Is Here.”
Here’s Arianna Huffington’s latest report on her Sleep Challenge 2010 efforts. And Glamour editor Cindi Leive is doing it too–a month of 7.5 hours sleep per night. Here’s her early report.
As for me . . . Night 2: Not sure how to calculate this, but a snow day here saved my bacon on sleeping in–lights out at 11:30, up at 8. But I woke up at 3:30 for a half hour. INTERRUPTED SLEEP! Naughty! But 8 hours in all. All I know is that I feel fantastic, look like Jessica Alba, and I weigh thirty pounds less.
Once again, the case against exercise . . . Nitey nite sleep tite!
Love,
Ann

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32 Comments

32 Comments

  1. These days I’m all about building a case against exercise…no time And it’s cold (I hate the cold even more than exercise), but (as someone all too experienced with interrupted sleep…those sweet kids) I always seem to sleep more soundly when I’ve worked out that day. I know, I know…trying to build a case Against The exercise! Maybe I should try drinking half a glass of wine before bed instead of exercising during the day? That may be a plan I can commit to (at least while it’s cold, right)?

  2. I love exercise, but even more I love the idea that sleeping more will make it easier to get to the gym in an energized fashion. When I’m tired it is too easy to rationalize not working out.

  3. I made that connection a long time ago. I’d love exercise a lot more if I weren’t tired all the time. Seriously, I need to stop working crazy hours just so I can have a more regular sleep schedule. Up 24 hrs now and counting.

  4. I got about 7 hours of sleep last night, and woke up vaguely refreshed and alert when the alarm went off. Previously I’d been averaging 6-6.5 hours, and I know I need more than that.
    Getting in the way: Hubby snores like a chainsaw; if something wakes me up during the night, I find it hard to go back to sleep. I also find it hard to go back to sleep in daylight.
    Also getting in the way: this means a 10 PM bedtime. I don’t know if I can do that long-term.

  5. I didn’t get to sleep until around 2:30 a.m. this morning because our furnace had died and we were waiting for the repair guy to make an emergency call (he arrived after midnight, left around 2:am). He was able to get us a work-around until he can get a replacement for the relay that blew (and the furnace is less than 4 years old). I slept only 6 hours and won’t get any more in until tonight. I don’t think this “proper amount of sleep” thing is going to work until we get out of this nasty weather! :)

  6. I vote for more sleep, more exercise, and more wine.

  7. Last night was night 3 of this experiment for me. Night 2 I didn’t get to be until midnight and I have been awakened by my wee girl every night around 3 but I’m just gonna keep getting up on that horse til I get to 7.5!

  8. What Kym said!

  9. I’m in. It’s the first exercise program that fits my personality and is something I am willing to do for the rest of my life. A very sincere thank you. I’ll send before and after photos!!!!

  10. So. I’m not eating too much, I’m sleeping too little. That would explain a lot. That plus the news that the calorie counts on packaged foods and restaurant menus can be up to 20% wrong. I’m guessing they are routinely too low, never too high. Thank you for news we can use!

  11. I vote with Kym. More sleep, more exercise, more wine!

  12. You’ve got to love a “diet” that doesn’t interfere with your eating habits AND makes sure you get plenty of rest!

  13. Oh this is an exciting health bulletin! Seriously I’ve been doing less sleep, by choice, for years, so I can do more. Be a morning person AND a night owl. And during this practice I have been getting progressively…fluffier.
    Off to read the articles.
    ps If you can find a scheme that includes more coffee ice cream too, that would be heavenly. Thnx.

  14. Ok, back after reading it. I think there was one paragraph where Arianna actually inserted “yeah I am looking at YOU”in my computer monitor.
    I’m going to try for 7.5. that be at least 25% more sleep. crazy!

  15. SLEEP APNEA – is a real medical condition. By being diagnosed 2 years ago and receiving treatment – my life has changed so much for the better. If you have had a hard time sleeping, in my case all my life, please bring up sleep apnea with your doctor. There is a lot of stuff on the internet (do a google search). I am bringing this up just to let folks know about it. Not everyone who has trouble sleeping has sleep apnea – but a lot of people who have sleep issues do have sleep apnea. Happy Snoring – Hester from Atlanta

  16. I not only love the idea — I embrace it! However, staying asleep is my issue. This business of waking up at 2:30 am just to think about nothin’ in particular is just an exercise in futility.

  17. No dice for me on the sleep thingo. I woke up last night at 2:30 am with the hiccups.
    THAT has never happened before.
    Then my husband kicked me out of bed because my hiccups were violently shaking it.
    I think we need a new bed.

  18. You make me laugh- I love this!

  19. Virginia, get a tempurpedic or similar mattress. My husband falls asleep by rocking his leg. For years I couldn’t fall asleep until he did. This mattress changed my life. That said, I’m still with Kym!

  20. Great. Sign me up. But how do I get my cat to go along with it? He woke me up at 4:30 this morning. He usually has the courtesy to wait until 5:00.

  21. wine just the wine

  22. I did it! 8 and a half hours on the first night! I woke at 7 to get Owen ready for school, and was so full of energy and love that I magnanimously told my hubbo to sleep in.
    I did forget Owen’s toast at home, so I brought him to school without breakfast. Bad Mama. But after all that sleep, it was easy for me to forgive myself!
    Great recommendation. I heart sleep.
    JM

  23. I was already thinking about trying to get more sleep this term, but all this talk about bedtimes is actually helping! I didn’t quite manage eight last night… but I did pack it in early enough to get seven, instead of trying to work even later. Thank you!

  24. I have always subscribed to this theory, although my version of the science is much simpler. When I’ve only had 5 (or less) hours of sleep, I always need massive amounts of food to fuel my body through the following day, or I just keel over! (Bacon cheeseburgers. Better than Vivarin.) The concept of 8 hours of sleep is a little nutty for me (especially these days, when one kid needs wee hours medication) but I’ve signed on to a vow of being…in bed…in time to get…potentially…6.5 hours? Baby steps, baby steps.

  25. Do you think you could be losing weight simply because you can’t eat and sleep at the same time? Or are we all sleepwalking fridge raiders? Wouls seriously love to get more sleep but both my husband and senior cat are serious snorers, and they don’t even have the decency to snore in time with each other. I swear the walls vibrate.

  26. Please keep updating us on the sleep challenge progress. It’s a great reminder!!

  27. Want the recipe for the potatoes…

  28. Want the recipe for the potatoes…

  29. Woe is me – I’m a 9-hours-a-night gal, which rarely happens. My husband snores, too, so I wear earplugs and make sure I’m asleep before he is, and then there’s no problem. It’s a wonderful feeling to wake up before the alarm and to get up cheerfully, knowing there’s stuff you want to do and having the energy to do it! So I persist, and feel better more often than I don’t.

  30. Thanks for the link. I think we forget the importance of regular sleep habits. This is one “diet” I think I can handle.

  31. Thanks for the link. I think we forget the importance of regular sleep habits. This is one “diet” I think I can handle.

  32. I sleep better in the winter when the house is cooler (OK, COLD!) but at any season can find myself waking every hour or two or even more often, rolling over, looking at the clock, thinking about stuff. Done it for years. I may actually be abed the requisite 8 hours but only sleep for 4, 5 or 6 of it at the most. Bummer.