Bad Sleep May Be Keeping You From Reaching Your Health Goals

If you frequently toss and turn all night or can’t fall or stay asleep on a regular basis, it could be getting in the way of other healthy habits. People who get consistent, uninterrupted sleep are better at sticking to their exercise and diet goals when trying to lose weight, according to a new study.

Researchers working with the American Heart Association investigated the connection between good sleep and following lifestyle changes prescribed to participants in a 12-month weight-loss program. There were 125 adults taking part, mostly women with an average age of 50, who were overweight or obese at the start of the program. The research team found that dieters with “superior sleep health” - which is measured by regularity, satisfaction, alertness, timing, efficiency and duration - during the year-long program were more likely to follow the plan’s guidelines for daily calories and exercise than those who didn’t sleep as well.

“There are over 100 studies linking sleep to weight gain and obesity, but this was a great example showing how sleep isn’t just tied to weight itself, it’s tied to the things we’re doing to help manage our own weight,” explains study author Dr. Michael Grandner. “This could be because sleep impacts the things that drive hunger and cravings, your metabolism and your ability to make healthy choices in general.”

  • Sleep is so important to our health that the American Heart Association has added it to their Life’s Essential 8, which are the “key measures for improving and maintaining cardiovascular health.” They also include eating healthy food, being physically active, not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and controlling cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure levels.

Source: Study Finds

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