Related Topics: Weight Loss

Better Sleep Through Weight Loss

A good night’s sleep will help with many health problems, but did you realise it could also be affected by your weight?

Dr Andrew Weil

If you’re overweight, don’t sleep well and lack energy during the day, losing a few pounds might help fix all that.

It worked for obese mice. Researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania fed half the mice in their study regular mouse chow and the other half chow with more than three times more fat. After 8 weeks some of the mice in each group were switched to the opposite diet.

Not surprisingly, those that had been on the high fat diet lost weight while those that had been eating regular mouse chow gained. After the ninth week, the mice on the high fat diet weighed 30 percent more than the other mice, slept an hour longer per day and were more likely to fall asleep during the day. However, the “diet switch” mice in both groups had completely different sleep/wake profiles, leading the researchers to conclude that changes in body weight are a key factor in regulating sleep.

If you’re overweight and feel tired during the day, losing only a small amount weight may result in better sleep and less daytime fatigue, the researchers reported. Will what works in mice really help humans sleep better? Stay tuned.

More information

While waiting for the ‘mouse’ study there are some simple points you can emulate from that study to help you lose weight. The debate about the value of a high/low fat diet continues as to the benefits, but you can help yourself by losing a few pounds gently and simply with a healthy diet and moderate exercise.

Many women do put on weight at menopause, so check your hormone balance to see if you are oestrogen dominant and putting on pounds round your middle as that can be helped by ensuring good progesterone levels. These articles can help too:

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