October 1, 2012
Can Sleep Help You Lose Weight?

I have written blogs on the importance of getting eight hours of sleep and the correlation to weight loss. Less sleep causes people who are trying to lose weight to only lose half of what they would have lost had they gotten eight hours of sleep. For those individuals who are not dieting but eating the right number of calories to maintain their weight, it can cause weight gain.

I know many of you are laughing and saying there is no way that you are able to get eight hours of sleep per night. Well, a paper written in JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association (Dec. 24-31, 2008: Short Sleep Duration and Incident Coronary Artery Calcification by C.R. King, D.S. Lauderdale, et al.), showed that decreased sleep time appears to be related to coronary artery calcification (coronary artery plaques). This really does make sense when you think about it. During sleep we reduce stress and release a cascade of chemicals that repair the damage to our bodies and arteries that happen while awake. Less release means there is unrepaired damage and in the arteries it means there is easier plaque formation.

If you think being young helps you, I have to tell you I believe in this case age does not matter. Remember, it takes a year to grow and develop plaques that will eventually close your arteries and possibly kill you. So step back a moment and decide how long you want to live. Part of that longevity is related to your sleep habits.


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