Posted on Apr 11, 2011, 6 a.m.
Kaiser Permanente (US) team finds that people trying to lose at least 10 pounds were more likely to reach that goal if they had lower stress levels and slept between 6 and 8 hours nightly.
If you want to increase your chances of losing weight, reduce your stress level and get adequate sleep. A new Kaiser Permanente (Oregon, USA) study found that people trying to lose at least 10 pounds were more likely to reach that goal if they had lower stress levels and slept more than six hours but not more than eight hours a night. Nearly 500 participants from Kaiser Permanente in Oregon and Washington took part in the study, which measured whether sleep, stress, depression, television viewing, and computer screen time were correlated with weight loss. During the study's first phase, all participants attended weekly meetings at which they were weighed and advised to reduce calorie intake by 500 calories per day, adopt a low-fat, low-sugar diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, increase physical activity to 180 minutes a week, and keep daily food records. People who kept more food records and attended more meetings were more likely to lose weight during this phase of the trial. Participants also were asked to report levels of insomnia, stress and depression, and to record how much time they slept and spent watching television or using a computer. The research team found that sleep and stress levels were good predictors of weight loss, but depression and screen time were not. People with the lowest stress levels who also got more than six hours, but not more than eight hours, of sleep were most likely to lose at least 10 pounds. In fact, nearly three-quarters of this group moved on to the second phase of the trial, and were twice as likely to be successful as those who reported the highest stress levels and got six or fewer hours of sleep per night.
C R Elder, C M Gullion, K L Funk, L L DeBar, N M Lindberg, V J Stevens. “Impact of sleep, screen time, depression and stress on weight change in the intensive weight loss phase of the LIFE study.” International Journal of Obesity, 29 March 2011.