“Researchers have presented a conundrum to new mothers, saying that women who want to lose the extra weight gained in pregnancy should try to get more sleep,” according to an article at smh. “…This study shows that getting enough sleep – even just two hours more – may be as important as a healthy diet and exercise for new mothers to return to their pre-pregnancy weight,” said Erica Gunderson of Kaiser Permanente, which runs hospitals and clinics in California. Gunderson and colleagues studied 940 women taking part in a study of prenatal and postnatal health at Harvard Medical School in Boston.
This is not surprising, as studies among the general population also link adequate sleep with weight loss. The Diet Channel points to a link between sleep and the hormones that influence our eating behavior. When you’re sleep deprived, mixed up hormone levels result is an increased craving for food, while not feeling full.
Bottom line: New mothers who sleep seven hours a night or more loose more weight. (Most people need between seven and nine hours of sleep a night.) This is easier said than done, and research is needed in a new area: How to accomplish this with a fitful newborn in the house! Be sure to wake me up when they figure that one out!
image from intmedny.com