The relationship between weight loss and sleep could be quite confusing and is often not understood well.
For optimal weight loss, sleeping an additional hour or two may be beneficial to your body but the truth also is that maybe sleeping one or two hours less may also result in your body being able to more effectively lose weight.
So which is it, more sleep or less sleep?
Your specific sleep requirement will probably be anywhere from around a minimum of 6 hours sleep to a maximum of 10 hours.
The truth about sleep and weight loss is that the results and findings of all the medical research and clinical trials combined, reveal that you have to sleep between 6 and 10 hours in order for your body to be as effective as possible to lose weight.
If you sleep too little, your body may decrease in its ability to create the hormone, insulin and if you sleep too much your body could create too little of the hormone, orexin.
Many people have different requirements as a result of environment, diet, stored body fat, amount and type of stress and many other factors. This means that you need to figure out what your ideal sleep requirements are based on your situation.
Recently I read in a national newspaper, that you should sleep more to lose weight and that medical research has now proven this.
Badly researched articles in popular newspapers has frequently led to popular misconceptions and fueled the general confusion regarding sleep.
Medical studies have proven that an average group of obese adults will decrease their bodies ability to produce insulin by sleeping four to six hours per day.(Insulin study)
Other medical studies have proven that an average group of obese adults will increase their bodies ability to convert white-fat by sleeping two hours less per day (Orexin study)
Clinical sleep trials have proven that a reduction in stress combined with an average of seven to nine hours of sleep, results in weight loss in individuals that are overweight (but not obese and that the individuals also had a measurable reduction in risk of developing heart disease)
Your own sleep requirement will depend on multiple circumstances, most important to note is that the studies referenced are conducted with individuals that are obese to morbidly obese and that medical studies on average weight and overweight individuals have quite varying results to those compared with morbidly obese individuals. It is also clear that when looking at the trial results and comparing the results from Australia and the USA, that the average percentages are not the same, even when the studies are similar (for example the insulin studies conducted in AU as well as in the USA) This may be due to different basic diets and a variety of other reasons. It is also clear that calorie requirements are not exactly the same for all individuals and that there are various other important factors to take into consideration.
Overall all studies agree that stress reduction is very beneficial to your body and that sleeping a calculated average of seven to eight hours seems to be of benefit to the majority of the curve.
Nett result: The truth about sleep and weight loss turns out to be related to the truth about many things. Too little sleep is bad for you and so is too much sleep.