How sleep habits affect weight goals: Survey reveals the ideal sleep schedule for shedding pounds

Millions of adults are missing out on sleep, which leads to unhealthy lifestyle habits – such as excessive eating – in turn leading to a plethora of adverse health effects.

A new survey reveals that a good night’s sleep, partnered with good eating habits, are the keys to successfully shedding those unwanted pounds and avoiding many preventable diseases. Following a regular sleep pattern may help to effectively lose weight, and those that maintain a consistent sleep routine are more likely to observe good eating habits, as reported on the Daily Mail.

The research monitored the sleep patterns of 1,000 British participants to determine common factors that contributed to weight gain.

 Sleep-deprived eating habits

The research reveals that those who slept for less than seven hours a night were found to have the most erratic eating patterns. They were more prone to diet lapses and were more likely to exceed their weekly limits for alcohol consumption.

Sixty-four percent of the participants admitted snacking in between meals, while 58 percent said they had difficultly sticking to a diet. What’s worse is that cutting back on sleep could undo the benefits of dieting. Similarly, 54 percent of the group said they regularly drank alcohol more than the recommended amount.

Thirty-three percent of the group admitted that the longer they were awake, the more they were likely to consume calories they don’t need, because they had more time to eat. An entry on asserts that sleep-deprived diets make you feel hungrier, which leads to a lack of energy to exercise.

In contrast, three quarters of the dieters found it easier to lose weight around the waistline when they followed a good sleep pattern. In addition, four-fifths of the participants who consistently had good sleep – mainly seven to eight hours every night – were also likely to eat three meals a day at regular times. These routines were found to be effective ways for losing weight. (Related: Sleep most important ingredient of good health, even over diet and exercise, according to scientists.)

Sleep less, dream less

Throughout the night, we pass through four stages of sleep. The majority of our dreaming happens during the fourth stage, called the “rapid-eye movement” (REM) phase.

Missing out on dreaming that occurs during REM sleep was found to have negative effects for both mental and physical health.

According to the survey, the best time to go to sleep was around 10:00 p.m. This allows for the most restorative non-REM sleep, which is best achieved before midnight.

Sleep deprivation may trigger a domino effect of unhealthy weight gain that increases your risk for otherwise preventable diseases, such as various cardiovascular conditions, cancer, and other adverse physical and psychological health issues.

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