October 17, 2010

Not Getting Enough Sleep May Sabotage Weight Loss Efforts

ABC News posted the article Losing Sleep Over Not Losing Weight? That Could Be the Problem that reports about research done by the University of Chicago and the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that not getting enough sleep can make it harder to lose weight.

I don't really dispute the idea that not getting enough sleep can make it harder to lose weight. Not getting enough sleep can affect us mentally and we can see some of the physical effects - basically still feeling tired, difficulty keeping your eyes open, etc.

My biggest issue here comes from their method where they "...assigned 10 overweight or obese participants to two groups – one that got 5.5 hours of sleep and another that got 8.5 hours of sleep over two periods, each lasting 14 days." Only 10 people? Really? That doesn't seem like enough people to me to come to any kind of strong conclusion. There could be various states of health differing between each person, plus I imagine they did not select people from a wide selection of ethnic groups of both genders. Other health studies have shown particular ethnic groups (sometimes of a particular gender) have more or less risks/benefits. It's always possible that a lack of sleep could show a greater effect in weight loss in a particular group.
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