If you want to lose ten pounds this year, it’s easy just sleep an extra hour every night! At least, that’s the amazing claim of the new Duvet Diet, by author Jane Worthington. According to London’s Daily Record, the plan is based on the connection between our ballooning weight in recent years, and the fact that most of us are getting far less sleep. Because obviously, if we’re awake longer, we have the chance to eat more. But there’s more to it than that. Sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain in all sorts of ways:
- Lack of sleep messes with our hormones and makes us hungrier. It boosts the hormones that spike our appetite, and lowers the level of those that tell us when we’re full.
- Also, if you get a bad night’s sleep, you’re more likely to overeat the next day.
- Poor sleep can also lead to lower glucose tolerance levels, which can bring on obesity and heart disease. Even children are affected by not getting enough sleep! It’s one of the big contributors to childhood obesity.
Worthington says that unhealthy diets and a lack of exercise certainly contribute to the rise in obesity. But she says that sleep is also a vital factor. Other experts agree that sleep affects not just our weight, but our IQ, suicide risk, and chance of substance abuse. So how much sleep do you need to lose weight? For the average adult, the magic number is seven to eight hours in bed, every night.