Stay (Get?) Slim, Sleep More – The Ideal New Year Resolution

Perhaps I’m being hopelessly optimistic in my reading of the scientific facts, but here’s a New Year Resolution I’m sure we’d all actually enjoy sticking to.. …if only we had the time…
I’ve been saving this one up, as the ultimate bit of cheer for everyone who maybe forgot the diet over Christmas… I read in a Guardian article by Joanna Hall last month that, I quote,
“Lack of sleep reduces the amount of human growth hormone responsible for the body’s fat-to-muscle ratio.”
And she adds that lack of sleep can therefore in part explain older people’s weight gain. Well, here’s the news we’ve all be waiting for.
Of course, Joanna also says that sensible eating and adequate exercise are essential for weight maintenance (you have been taking your brisk-ish turns round the park during the holiday, haven’t you?), but the good news could seem to be, ‘Sleep more, weigh less’…. and lest we forget, isn’t it true that our mums used to tell us we had to have a decent bedtime if we wanted to grow big and strong? (More muscle, less fat?)
So there we go. The must-have New Year Resolution: I really will try to get more sleep.
Wonderful in theory; and maybe just as hard as dieting and keeping the accounts straight in practise? But, unlike diets and accounts, at least it has a feel-good about it.
And a Very Happy New Year to you alll!

Posted on January 1, 2006, in Education, Health And Welfare, The Journal. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Well, it now looks as though it’s more than just a hunch that weight and sleep patterns are linked. There is pretty solid evidence of the connection, to judge from the results of the U.S. Nurses’ Health Study (led by Dr Sanjay Patel of Cleveland University) which has been running since 1976.
    The study obtained data from 68,183 healthy women who were 30 – 35 years old when the observations began. Over 16 years, women who reported sleeping five or fewer hours per night gained some 2.3 pounds extra weight than those who slept a nightly average of seven hours.
    You can see a brief report of this research at:
    http://www.webmd.com/content/article/122/114782?src=RSS_PUBLIC
    or, for a wider discussion of the possible links between sleep paterns and health, visit:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/08/AR2005100801405.html

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