Sleep Health Associated With Greater Weight Loss Success, New Study Finds
Sleep is an important factor in weight loss, according to a new study presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology, Prevention, Lifestyle, and Cardiometabolic Health Scientific Sessions 2023. Researchers found that people with better sleep health had greater adherence to their weight loss plan, attending more of the program’s group sessions and meeting their daily caloric intake goals more often.
The study was conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and included 125 adults aged 50 years old on average, most of whom were female and white, who were overweight or obese. At the beginning, after six months and at the conclusion of the program, sleep habits were monitored using patient questionnaires, a sleep diary, and a wrist-worn device recording sleep, waking activity, and rest for seven days.
A composite sleep health score of zero to six was calculated for each participant, with one point for each “good” measure of sleep health, with higher scores indicating better levels of sleep health. The average sleep health score of the participants was 4.5 out of 6 at the beginning of the study, after 6 months and after 12 months.
The adherence to the weight loss program was gauged by attendance at group intervention sessions as a percentage, eating 85-115% of their recommended daily calories each day, and a change in the daily duration of moderate or vigorous physical activity. Participants attended 79% of group sessions in the first six months and 62% of group sessions in the second six months and met their daily caloric intake goals on 36% of days in the first six months and 21% in the second six months. In the first six months, the participants' total daily time spent in moderate to vigorous activity increased by 8.7 minutes, however, it decreased by 3.7 minutes in the subsequent six months.
The study’s limitations include that it did not incorporate any intervention to help participants improve their sleep, that the study sample was not recruited based upon participants’ sleep health characteristics and that the overall sample population had relatively good sleep health at baseline. Due to the sample being predominantly white and female, it is uncertain whether these results are applicable to more diverse demographics.
The American Heart Association's Life's Essential 8 emphasizes the importance of good sleep health in improving cardiovascular health, something that everyone can strive for.
0. “Can't stick to a diet and exercise routine? Try sleeping more!” Daily Mail, 3 Mar. 2023, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-11816993/Best-way-speed-weight-loss-Sleep.html
1. “Researchers share the one thing that may be sabotaging your health and fitness goals” Fortune, 3 Mar. 2023, https://fortune.com/well/2023/03/03/sleep-diet-exercise-goals/
2. “How a simple tweak to your daily routine could help you shed pounds…” The US Sun, 3 Mar. 2023, https://www.the-sun.com/health/7540511/simple-tweak-daily-routine-help-shed-pounds/
3. “Struggling to keep exercise and diet goals? This might help you” Revyuh, 3 Mar. 2023, https://www.revyuh.com/news/lifestyle/health-and-fitness/struggling-to-keep-exercise-and-diet-goals-this-might-help-you/
4. “Quality sleep makes it easier to achieve weight loss goals” Earth.com, 4 Mar. 2023, https://www.earth.com/news/quality-sleep-makes-it-easier-to-achieve-weight-loss-goals/
5. “A Good Night’s Sleep May Make It Easier to Stick To Exercise and Diet Goals” Neuroscience News, 3 Mar. 2023, https://neurosciencenews.com/sleep-diet-exercise-22705