Sunday, April 3, 2011

Less Stress, Better Sleep may help you lose Weight

Getting sufficient sleep, at least six hours a night, and lowering stress levels may significantly help individuals to lose their extra weight, a new study suggests.

Kaiser Permanente Centre researchers asked about 500 hundred people to follow a low calorie diet and exercise at least three hours a week, while keeping a record of their sleep habits and stress levels.

According to the findings published in the International Journal of Obesity, getting the right amount of sleep and stress reduction guarantees successful weight loss. Lowering stress by itself was associated with more weight loss.

Moreover, reducing stress and overcoming depression, apart from recording exercise minutes and keeping food diaries, are among important factors in maintaining weight loss, researchers wrote.

"We found that people who got more than six but less than eight hours of sleep, and who reported the lowest levels of stress, had the most success in a weight-loss program," said lead author Charles Elder.

"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," said Elder. “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.”

Although, the participants in the study were highly motivated and most had a college degree, the researchers suspect that their finding could be applied to everyone.
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