SLEEP AND STRESS LESS TO LOSE WEIGHT – NJ WEIGHT LOSS DOCTOR

Moderate Sleep and Less Stress May Help With Weight Loss

A Kaiser Permanente study published in the International Journal of Obesity indicates that efforts to lose weight are aided by adequate sleep and stress control.

The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, found that those attempting to lose ten pounds or more were more likely to succeed if they got at least six hours of sleep and reported lower stress levels.

Lead author Charles Elder, MD, MPH, an investigator with the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Oregon, said: “This study suggests that when people are trying to lose weight, they should try to get the right amount of sleep and reduce their stress. Some people may just need to cut back on their schedules and get to bed earlier. Others may find that exercise can reduce stress and help them sleep. For some people, mind/body techniques such as meditation also might be helpful.”

The study, which included around 500 people, was divided into two parts. First, participants were given six months to lose at least ten pounds. Those who succeeded went on to the second part of the study, designed to test a complementary acupressure technique compared to conventional weight-maintenance strategies. (This part of the study has not been completed.)

Participants in the first part of the study were given advice as to diet and exercise; they also kept daily food diaries and attended weekly meetings. It was found that those who kept more food records and attended more meetings were more likely to lose weight during this phase of the trial.

They also were asked about their experiences with insomnia, stress and depression, as well as time spent watching television and computer use. It was found that adequate sleep and lower stress levels presaged success at weight loss, but depression and screen time had little or no effect.

Dr. Elder, who also leads Integrative Medicine at Kaiser Permanente Northwest, and the study authors warn that their findings may not apply to everyone, pointing out that most of their subjects had attended college, and were highly motivated.

Kaiser Permanente is conducting ongoing research to gain insight into the causes of successful and unsuccessful attempts at weight loss, and maintaining healthy weight. Other Kaiser Permanente studies have found that use of an interactive weight management website helped people keep weight off, and that keeping a food diary, as well as personal and internet-based support, had positive effects on weight control.

Study authors include: Charles R. Elder, MD, MPH, Christina M. Gullion, PhD, Kristine L. Funk, MS, Lynn L. DeBar, PhD, Nangel M. Lindberg, PhD, and Victor J. Stevens, PhD, all from the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Oregon.

Source: Reuters  May 2011

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