Cutting-Edge Science: Is More Sleep The New Secret Sauce to Weight Loss?

Cutting-Edge Science: Is More Sleep The New Secret Sauce to Weight Loss?

As scientists, medical practitioners, biohackers, and health conscious creators we are deeply passionate about the latest studies and techniques to help optimize the quality of your life. When we find research that excites us we love sharing it with you. Check out this 2022 study showing how increasing sleep duration may be a helpful strategy to support weight loss.

Getting Enough Sleep Helps To Reduce Overeating

Good sleep is essential for mental and physical health. However, poor sleep is a major problem of our time. In the US, around one-third of the adult population sleeps less than the recommended 7 to 9 hours a night. Insufficient sleep is linked to a number of negative health outcomes, among them excessive weight. Laboratory studies have shown that not getting enough sleep is one of the factors that contribute to overeating and weight gain over time, whereas getting a full night’s rest helps to maintain healthier energy intake levels (i.e., the amount of calories eaten). But what works in the controlled environment of a lab, doesn’t always work in real life. Therefore, a study from the University of Chicago set out to determine if extending sleep duration of overweight, sleep-deprived adults would change their energy intake levels in their usual home environment. 

To do so, the authors recruited 80 overweight adults aged 21 to 40 years who habitually slept less than 6.5 hours a night. Participants received individualized sleep hygiene recommendations intended to extend their bedtime to 8.5 hours (sleep extension group) or maintain their habitual sleep (control group). They were instructed to maintain their usual daily routines at home and to not change their diet or physical activity. Over two weeks, their sleep duration, energy intake, energy expenditure, and body weight were assessed.

Compared to controls, participants in the sleep extension group showed, on average, an increase in sleep duration of 1.2 hours per night. Whereas the daily energy intake of the control group increased by 114.9 calories during the study period, that of the sleep extension group decreased by -155.5 calories, corresponding to a difference between the groups of 270 calories! To put this in perspective, eating an extra 114 calories every day for a year would result in about 11 pounds of weight gain, while eating 155.5 calories less every day would lead to about 15 pounds of weight loss. 

Obesity researchers often think in terms of energy balance and use a calories in, calories out (CACO) model to predict weight changes. Over 2 weeks, the amount of sleep had a big impact on calories in. But it had no effect on energy expenditure (calories out). The sleep extension group created a negative energy balance. This resulted in an average weight loss of ~1 pound. The group that maintained their habitual sleep of under 6.5 hours had a positive energy balance. This resulted in a weight gain of just under 1 pound. This corresponded to a difference of almost 2 pounds between the groups. 

Improving and maintaining sleep duration over longer periods may be beneficial for weight management and weight loss.

These results thus showed that increasing sleep duration was sufficient to naturally decrease energy intake in a real-life setting, suggesting that improving and maintaining sleep duration over longer periods may be beneficial for weight management and weight loss (and also suggesting that continuing to get insufficient sleep may result in gradual weight gain).

In addition to getting an adequate amount of sleep, getting good quality, restorative sleep is also essential to reap the full benefits of sleep for physical and mental well-being. That’s why we created Qualia Night, a dietary supplement designed to support nightly relaxation, healthy sleep, and help you wake up feeling refreshed and ready for a new day. Qualia Night combines 25 carefully selected ingredients, including Rasayana rejuvenators, herbal adaptogens, restorative nootropic ingredients, superfoods, and cellular antioxidants, combined to support healthy nighttime function. Qualia Night is a complete solution for sound, refreshing sleep, stress support, enhanced next day performance, and long-term brain health.*

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Referenced Study

Tasali E, et al. Effect of Sleep Extension on Objectively Assessed Energy Intake Among Adults With Overweight in Real-life Settings: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Intern Med. 2022;182(4):365–374. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2021.8098

No Comments Yet

Sign in or Register to Comment