According to an Irish proverb, a good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book. As far as sleep goes, that may just be true according to three studies concluding that good sleeping habits may promote weight loss, lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and increase longevity.

In the first study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers found that although dieters lost the same amount of weight whether they had adequate sleep or not, those who got a full night’s sleep lost 55% more body fat than those who cut back on sleep.

The small study followed 10 overweight volunteers on a carefully controlled diet of 1,450 calories for one month. Each participant slept for an average of 7 hours and 25 minutes for two weeks and then 5 hours and 14 minutes for two weeks.

When the dieters got two to three hours less sleep, they felt hungrier and produced higher levels of the hormone ghrelin. Ghrelin triggers hunger, increases fat retention and reduces energy expenditures. The result was that they lost more lean body mass than fat.

The researchers believe that had they not been on a strict calorie regimen, the participants would likely have lost less weight, as well as less body fat, during the time they slept less.

Your sleep predicts diabetes, stroke and heart attacks

In another study published in the Annals of Epidemiology, researchers looked at six years of data from 1,455 people and concluded that those who sleep less than six hours a night may be three times more likely to develop symptoms of pre-diabetes, compared to those who sleep six to eight hours.

The authors believe their study confirms that sleep quantity and quality are strong predictors of type 2 diabetes, strokes and heart attacks.

How much sleep is linked to a long life?

Finally, a third study published in Sleep Medicine suggests that the secret to a long life may come with more than five hours of sleep per night but less than eight hours. Looking at data from 459 women from the Women’s Health Initiative, researchers found that the best survival rates were enjoyed by women who slept 5 to 6.5 hours.

The message from these studies is clear. The quantity and quality of your sleep can powerfully affect your weight and your risk of diabetes and heart disease, as well as your lifespan.

7 Natural Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep

To insure that you’re getting enough good quality sleep, here are seven natural tips for a restful night without prescription sleep aids:

1. Be in bed by 9:30 pm and lights out by 10:30 pm at the latest.

2. Don’t drink or eat anything after 7:30 pm so that your sleep is not disturbed by bathroom visits.

3. Avoid caffeine and alcohol.

4. Make your bedroom a sanctuary with no television, computer or briefcase allowed.

5. Keep your bedroom dark to get a better, deeper sleep.

6. Don’t overheat your room and open a window if possible.

7. Relax for an hour or two before bed without work or watching TV.

Now it’s your turn. How much sleep do you get? What’s your biggest obstacle to a good night’s sleep? Leave a comment and let us know.


4 Responses to “ Sleep Your Way to Weight Loss and a Long Healthy Life ”

  1. Mary says:

    I have just about made it back from a long bout of hormone imbalance, including adrenal fatigue. I have been working on sleeping longer for a couple of years now. It takes longer to see the beneficial effects than if you just pop a sleeping pill, but I firmly believe it’s the healthier choice. (And they’re not paying me to say this, but the BalancePom Plus product has been part of my regimen during this time period also, and I plan to continue with that also.)

  2. Miranda says:

    I too have been suffering from adrenal exaustion and hormonal issue along with low blood sugar issues. All came on suddenly. Have not been able to sleep at nights due to anxiety attacks. Sure would appreciate any help in this area. Want so much to sleep through without disturbance.

  3. Beverley Gibson says:

    I have battled. With not sleeping for years. And weight loss….one of the things. I still do is have coffee and drink black tea ……

  4. Margie King says:

    I agree that adrenal fatigue and hormone imbalance can make sleep a challenge. Mary, I love your experience with BalancePom Plus and I’m so glad you find that helpful.

    In addition to finding a practitioner who will help with adrenal fatigue and blood sugar issues, it’s important to make sure you follow the checklist for getting a good night’s sleep. At least give your body a fighting chance!

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