Sleep and Weight
Wednesday, August 5, 2009

If you are trying to lose weight, a good night’s sleep might help.

A study conducted by nurses at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center has found a possible link between sleep and weight.

Study participants who were so-called short sleepers, indicating they got less than six hours of sleep per night, tended to have on average a higher body mass index than long sleepers.

The participants wore armbands that measured total activity, body temperature, body position and other indicators of rest and activity.

The average body mass index, or BMI, for short sleepers was 28.3. That compares to an average BMI of 24.5 for long sleepers.

The study also found that the overweight participants were significantly more active than their normal-weight peers. The overweight participants burned nearly 1,000 more calories per day on average than their normal-weight peers.

Experts say a lack of sleep may disrupt natural hormonal balances, triggering overeating. Stress could also be a factor—contributing to less sleep and more eating in the same people.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, I’m Dr. Edward Hill.