Adequate sleep is an important part of a weight loss plan and should be added to the recommended mix of diet and exercise, states a commentary in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
Although calorie restriction and increased physical activity are recommended for weight loss, there is significant evidence that inadequate sleep is contributing to obesity. Lack of sleep increases the stimulus to consume more food and increases appetite-regulating hormones.
"The solution [to weight loss] is not as simple as 'eat less, move more, sleep more,'" write Drs. Jean-Phillippe Chaput, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario and Angelo Tremblay, Laval University, Québec, Quebec. "However, an accumulating body of evidence suggests that sleeping habits should not be overlooked when prescribing a weight-reduction program to a patient with obesity. Sleep should be included as part of the lifestyle package that traditionally has focused on diet and physical activity."
The authors' recently published research found that total sleep time and quality of sleep predicted the loss of fat in people enrolled in a weight loss program.
The Canadian Obesity Network has included adequate sleep in its new set of obesity management tools for physicians.