In the Journals

Sleep improves with weight loss through diet changes

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December 20, 2015

Sleep, at any weight, can be improved with weight loss due to dietary changes, according to recent study findings published in Sleep.

“Our findings suggest body weight is a less important factor than changes in weight for regulating sleepiness,” Isaac J. Perron, a PhD student in neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania, said in a press release. “Diet-induced obese mice that ate a regular chow diet for only 1 week showed the same sleep/wake profile as mice that ate a regular chow diet for 9 weeks.”

Researchers studied obesity with diet-induced mice with obesity to help explain the link between excessive weight, poor dietary habits and sleep/wake abnormalities.

The mice were randomly chosen to receive regular chow and the others were fed a high-fat diet for 8 weeks. After the 8-week period, some mice were switched to the alternative diet for 1 week.

After 9 weeks, the high-fat diet group weighed 30% more, slept 1 hour longer per day and exhibitedsss increased wake fragmentation compared with the regular chow group.

Groups that switched diets had similar body weight at week 9 but different sleep/wake profiles.

“The diet consumed during the final week was key to driving the sleep effects, independent of the starting body weight,” Perron said. “If you’re overweight and often feel tired, you may not need to lose all the weight to improve sleep, but rather just beginning to lose that excess weight may improve your sleep abnormalities and wake impairments.”

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