Losing Weight Improves Sleep Quality and Duration, Study


Shedding weight can enhance quality and duration of sleep, according to a new study by the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Researchers said that the beneficial effects are observed in those who cut down minimum of five percent of the body weight.

For the study, researchers analysed 390 participants (311 women and 79 men) from the Practice-Based Opportunities for Weight Reduction at the University. All the participants were randomly assigned to one of the three programs that aimed to attain same diet and exercise goals.

Those who belonged to the first group (usual care) were given printed educational material during quarterly visits to their primary care provider. In the second group (brief lifestyle counseling), participants were associated with quarterly visits to their primary care provider and brief meetings with lifestyle coaches. Participants in the last group (enhanced brief lifestyle counseling) received meal replacements or weight loss medications plus the second intervention.

The researchers measured participant's body weight, sleep quality and duration after 6 months and 24 months of treatment.

At the end of six months, the researchers found that participants belonging to lifestyle counseling groups lost more weight (brief counseling: 7.8 lb, enhanced counseling: 14.7 lb) on an average as compared to those in the usual care group (4.4 lb).

Among all participants, those who shed 5 percent of their weight at the end of the 6th month achieved an average of 21.6 minutes of improvement sleep per night compared to just 1.2 minutes in those who lost less than 5 percent.

"Further studies are needed to examine the potential effects of weight regain in diminishing the short-term improvements of weight loss on sleep duration and sleep quality," said Nasreen Alfaris, M.D., MPH, a fellow in the Department of Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine, said in a press release.

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