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Health & Fitness

Skipping sleep halves fat loss

Tuesday - Oct 05, 2010, 04:19pm (GMT+5.5)
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London (IANS)- Dieters should get a full night's sleep to be able to lose fat, says a new study.

Cutting back on sleep more than halved the amount of fat volunteers lost.

Skipping on sleep appears to boost production of a hormone that suppresses physical activity and fat-burning processes in the body while increasing hunger.

The study took a group of overweight but healthy volunteers for four weeks. For the first fortnight, they were allowed to sleep for up to 8.5 hours, and for the second two weeks for up to 5.5 hours, reports the Telegraph.

In the event they slept on average for seven hours 24 minutes in the first part and five hours and 14 minutes in the second, according to the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

When they got adequate sleep, almost half of the 6.6 lb (3 kg) they lost on average in that period was fat (3.1 lb/1.4 kg).

But when they were sleep-restricted that proportion dropped to a fifth (1.3 lb/0.6kg). The remainder in both cases was mainly muscle.

There was no difference in the total weight loss between the fortnightly periods.

Plamen Penev, assistant professor of medicine at the Chicago University, who led the study, said: "If your goal is to lose fat, skipping sleep is like poking sticks in your bicycle wheels."

"Cutting back on sleep, a behaviour that is ubiquitous in modern society, appears to compromise efforts to lose fat through dieting. In our study it reduced fat loss by 55 percent."


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