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Sleep your weight off? Sounds perfect

By 14 August 2013 9

Pastafarian

Australian Sleep Medicine research scientist Dr Carmel Harrington is giving a lecture at UC tomorrow where she argues that a good nights sleep may be the secret to weight loss.

Hopefully she has more compelling evidence than noticing a correlation between average hours slept and average weight over time, otherwise I’d like to talk to her about pirates and global warming.

If your keen her lecture is at 6.15 tomorrow.

“The research is becoming clear – when we don’t sleep well we are likely to put on weight and find it difficult to lose because if we don’t get enough sleep there is a change in the profile of our appetite hormones. We get an increase in the hormone that makes us feel hungry and a decrease in the hormone that makes us feel full.” Dr Harrington said.

“The end result is that there is a real increase in our feelings of hunger and clinical studies have shown that these circumstances can lead to people eating more than 300 calories extra per day and they’re particularly hungry for carbohydrate-dense food. Unchecked, this type of eating fairly quickly leads to weight gain.”

The lecture is based on her book The Sleep Diet, which demonstrates the impact of sleep on what you eat. Dr Harrington said that the link between sleep and weight gain was first observed in a 1970s study of nurses on the contraceptive pill. In that study of over 70,000 nurses she said it was noted that the fewer hours they slept the higher their body mass index (BMI) and this trend continued over the 15-year period of the study.

“As a population, we sleep on average about two hours less than our grandparents and while our sleep time has been gradually decreasing our waistlines have been increasing,” she said.

Referring to sleep, exercise and nutrition as “the three pillars of health” Dr Harrington said research is showing that more emphasis needs to be placed on sleep to help prevent weight gain.

“In Australia, 65 percent of the population is overweight or obese, and even with all the information we now have on eating well and exercising people are continuing to put on weight, so there is a missing link in weight loss and it is emerging that this is sleep.”

WHAT: ‘The Sleep Diet’ Healthy Sleep Community Lecture by Dr Carmel Harrington
WHEN: Thursday 15 August, 6.15-7pm
WHERE: Building 12, Level B, Room 50, University of Canberra (campus map)

[Pirates/global warming correlation graph is the wonderful work of Bobby Henderson]

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9 Responses to
Sleep your weight off? Sounds perfect
arescarti42 12:19 pm
14 Aug 13
#1

Barcham, may you be touched by his noodly appendage.

tim_c 12:25 pm
14 Aug 13
#2

Listening to a lecture in a stuffy lecture theatre sounds like one of the best ways to ensure you get a good night’s sleep…

Ben_Dover 1:44 pm
14 Aug 13
#3

Anyone interested in buying a bridge?

Thumper 2:04 pm
14 Aug 13
#4

There is absolutely no doubt that sleep correlates to weight loss, after all, if you are asleep you cannot eat.

Objective 2:21 pm
14 Aug 13
#5

>If your keen her lecture is at 6.15 tomorrow.

That should be “you’re”. The sentence above has a pretty bad comma splice too.

When you’re poking fun at someone it’s prudent to proof read. Otherwise you might come down with a serious case of egg on face.

Mothy 8:58 am
15 Aug 13
#6

Barcham, you really are the worst kind of reductionist a**hat that the internet serves up on regular basis, aren’t you? But hey, so long as you get to wheel out your funny pirate graph eh?

Reading the release about the study, it is perfectly clear that they do not claim that you can “sleep your weight off”. It is instead stating that if you do not get enough sleep, you are highly likely to gain weight, as you will consume more.

It clearly states that there are “three pillars of health” – Sleep, Exercise, and Nutrition. There is no denial of the need to put in effort through exercise in order to actually lose weight.

It is saying that if there is an issue with sleep, the effort put into exercise might not translate appropriately because of the effect the lack of sleep can have on nutrition.

I’d also wager that a lack of sleep will be pointed at as a reason many people don’t exercise enough (either frequency or intensity).

What I found interesting was that there was no mention of how weight gain can impact the quality of sleep (i.e. sleep apnea), thus causing a bit of a nasty cycle. Seems an easy enough logical leap.

Barcham 10:18 am
15 Aug 13
#7

Mothy said :

Barcham, you really are the worst kind of reductionist a**hat that the internet serves up on regular basis, aren’t you? But hey, so long as you get to wheel out your funny pirate graph eh?

Reading the release about the study, it is perfectly clear that they do not claim that you can “sleep your weight off”. It is instead stating that if you do not get enough sleep, you are highly likely to gain weight, as you will consume more.

It clearly states that there are “three pillars of health” – Sleep, Exercise, and Nutrition. There is no denial of the need to put in effort through exercise in order to actually lose weight.

It is saying that if there is an issue with sleep, the effort put into exercise might not translate appropriately because of the effect the lack of sleep can have on nutrition.

I’d also wager that a lack of sleep will be pointed at as a reason many people don’t exercise enough (either frequency or intensity).

What I found interesting was that there was no mention of how weight gain can impact the quality of sleep (i.e. sleep apnea), thus causing a bit of a nasty cycle. Seems an easy enough logical leap.

If I could sit down and read all of Dr Harrington’s research on the subject and write a full account of what she is talking about I would. I would actually really enjoy that.

Sadly I can’t donate that much time to one single story, especially a story that only a small part of our readership is actually going to be interested in. I’ve gotta throw up a headline that will attract people to the story, write a quick summary, and make a comment or two about what I think. Then I have to get back to reading the other hundred press releases sitting in my inbox.

Thank you for repeating what the press release I posted says back to me. Yes I know. Yup I did read that bit about the three pillars of health. I read it and found it interesting enough to pass on to you. I’m aware of what it says.

Are you really that upset that I boiled the story down to a quick gag in the title? If that makes me a reductionist a**hat fine, however if you’re looking to the RiotACT for in depth coverage of science research then I have a few names I could probably call you too.

As for the “your” thing that is actually super embarrassing.

bundah 10:41 am
15 Aug 13
#8

Barcho a reductionist arsehat?? WTF, Mothy’s in a bit of a flap over SFA!

tim_c 10:44 am
15 Aug 13
#9

Mothy said :

…I’d also wager that a lack of sleep will be pointed at as a reason many people don’t exercise enough (either frequency or intensity)…

I’d argue that one’s a bit of a vicious cycle too – I sleep much better/easier when my schedule includes regular exercise. If I drop exercise out of my schedule, I can find it more difficult to get to sleep, and I’ll generally wake up more during the night. But I’m just one guy, maybe others have different ‘findings’?

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