Remember that studies almost never make the strong claims that headlines do.
What the study actually demonstrates is more narrow, as befits science:
"Overweight young adults who usually sleep less then 6.5 hours a day and are coached in sleep hygiene tend to sleep about an hour longer, consume fewer calories proportional to how much more they sleep, and have no significant change in today daily energy expenditure"
The headline suggests that the findings are generally applicable and that the weight loss comes simply from sleeping more than 6.5 hours per night. The study -- which is a great study -- demonstrates neither of those things.
The study has no demonstrated applicability to:
* older adults
* teenagers or children
* BMI obese individuals
* BMI normal/underweight individuals
* people who already sleep more than 6.5 hours per night
* people who sleep longer without being counseled in sleep hygiene as performed by the clinicians -- which presumably involves a comprehensive set of sleep guidelines and possibly even personalized assignment of guidelines and other forms of coaching
Do you think most people reading the headline or even the article would recognize that? Do you think most commenters did?
The title says "can" help, implying a contingent claim with limitations.
As for the rest - I think everything you note here falls in the class of omitting details, which is not in itself misleading. Classifying any headline that omits any details as misleading sets an impossible standard. It basically makes it impossible to provide a responsible headline of any kind.
Even the title of the original scientific article itself fails to disclose several of the limitations you list here. Is a popular media article required to have a title that discloses limitations more comprehensively than the scientific article it reports on?
I don't see myself as "taking issue" with anything and am certainly not responsible for any sort of standards in headline writing. I agree with you that the headlines can't include every detail, which is specifically why it's important to practice deeper digging when a headline personally intrigues you.
As far as I can tell, I'm just sharing the details that the headline left out with a community who has the scientific literacy to make sense of them.
A lot of us have a hair trigger around "Can't Trust That Damn Media!" claims (myself included), so I understand why you're trying to stand up for the article here. But if you look back over what I wrote, you'll see that I wasn't criticizing it. Digging deeper is what we want to do so that we can trust the imperfect media that we know we receive.
I still don't agree that the headline made a stronger claim than the article, but I get where you're coming from, and sharing the details and the link to the original study is of course great and what HN is for, so let's call it good :)
There are multiple factors in sleep that would have an influence on weight.
1) when you are sleep deprived, or don't get enough sleep, you have increased insulin resistence, which is related to increased fat stores 
2) reduced sleep causes you to crave sugary and fatty foods as a source 
The idea from the article that sleep gained over x years would result in a * b reduction in weight is ludicrous. It doesn't work that way.
I work in the sleep space as the founder of https://soundmind.co we're focused on improving Sleep Performance, the neurological function of sleep. Our DeepWave auditory stimulation is focused on some of the brains mechanisms that are associated with the insulin resistance mentioned above (https://soundmind.co/research).
Relevant to both parts of this study: I can’t recommend a walking treadmill with an electric standing desk enough. I walk about 4-5 hours a day at ~2 mph. I can eat what I want and maintain my weight (or lose it), I’m more alert during the day and I sleep better at night.
The only real issue is that if I have to think particularly hard on a problem I might have to step off of the treadmill/turn it off for a bit.
I work from home and most of my work isn’t mentally challenging, so I know I have it better than most. Still, for anyone who thinks it might be doable for them I’d recommend it. It takes a while to get used to, but it happens. Right now I’d love to find a way to incline the treadmill easily to increase the challenge without increasing the speed.
Plus, you should see my calves. The bottom half of some pants look like leggings on me.
After years of using a standing desk I decided to up my game a bit. I'm now using an inversion table with a built-in laptop mount. This puppy has a 24V DC motor to maximize circulation for extended hacking sessions. I've found it has marginal productivity gains but colleagues no longer bother me during a sprint.
By working a healthy 8 hours a day, and integrating walking into their everyday activities: walk to the store instead of taking the car or getting things delivered, for example. Although I do agree that it depends on the environment you live in - whenever I found myself in dense built-up inner-city neighborhoods with a lack of green, my step average was just half of what it was in more walkable, leafier neighborhoods. While not having lived there myself, I imaging US suburbs would be equally detrimental to my walking habits.
But going from grocery delivery to walking to the store is not integrating it into your everyday activity. That's restructuring your life. Sure, I could walk to work and back every day I go to the office, but it'd be 45 minutes a day. That's a highly non-trivial time investment. And it wouldn't get me the equivalent of what I get from my under-the-desk treadmill, which requires a time investment of approximately zero.
Probably won't get you the equivalent of 8-10 miles a day, but you can buy some dumbbells, put them by your desk, and do a set of something every hour or so during a break. I aspire to do this, but often forget/get too lazy to do it often enough.
For people considering this, I recommend trying something inexpensive before going for one of the nice purpose built walking desk treadmills. The physiology of walking at 1 or 2 mph isn't the same [for everyone] as full speed walking, and some people will have problems as a result. Better to figure that out before you blow a bunch of money on it.
So you are "walking" 8 to 10 miles a day, that is pretty awesome just being stationary so to speak, which translates to 700-900 calories burned a day. Just curious do you get tired at the end of the week?
You can also make better decisions and regulate yourself better with sleep.
My weakness with food is always when stress and sleep hit some critical level where I can’t look at bad food and say “that’s not worth it”. It’s strange to think/admit but I am at the mercy of chemicals in that situation. My will power is best put towards getting to sleep on time and not buying junk in the first place. I tend to lose the battle if I’m tired and there is junk around.
Here I am playing 1.5D chess with my biology, but what the hell. I’m no Jocko Willink.
Here is a test of your will power. Next time you see some junk food in your pantry, pick it up, take it to your outside garbage can, open the package, and dump it irretrievably into the container. Once you do that the first time, you switch from "The kind of weak person who buys junk food." to "The kind of strong person who has weak moments, but junk food does not define me, and I can destroy it even after I bought it."
It could be construed that way, but it can also be a way to take a step back and remind yourself with actions rather than words that you have power over the situation. The more we take control over ourselves, the more our brains will gain the confidence and wire well for taking that initiative (at least according to what I’ve heard and read). So in that sense, it seems like it could be positive. It certainly isn’t a perfect and final solution. It requires follow through for sure.
These are nuanced and difficult things to find solutions for in any case.
It's certainly a powerful step in the right direction though. Modulating your self identity really is a strong way to start breaking down bad habits or starting good habits consistently. Besides my own experience, I think there was a thread here a while back about "getting in character" to achieve unusual results
The next time you buy junk food, the first thing you do as you get home is that you divide that junk food into two piles: That which you intend to consume today, and that which you were planning on saving for tomorrow.
Then throw the part you were saving for tomorrow into the garbage.
Now you are no longer at risk of overeating, because the excess is not there to tempt you, and you can enjoy the first pile without reservation, fear, or guilt.
I used to swim/gym around 3 years ago everyday for about 2 years. I used to sleep from 9.30pm to 7.30am because I used to be tired. Sleep used to help me recover a lot! And because I used to be asleep for such a long time, I never had time to binge watch or eat. I lost about 40kgs because of exercise, diet and mostly sleep.
Fast forward to now, I'm working in the night to match my colleagues schedule till my wife's and infant's visa arrive and I can travel to the university, this is about a timezone difference of 9.30 hours. I've never been more bloated, tired and depressed. I've also have gotten more ill, and have had a plethora or gastric issues.
I don’t have any issues with weight, but when I don’t get enough sleep I feel slightly less tired for a bit after I eat a snack. A good portion of the population also gets their caffeine fix with empty calories as well.
I recommend too if you're over 40, or in any way have disrupted sleep, to nap 20-30 mins after lunch. Its a great life hack if you WFH and helps cope with so many sleep issues with aging IMO. It seems to help me and a large number of my colleagues > 40 years :)
I can add that I believed for a long time that napping was pointless because I can't fall asleep during the day (and takes 1 hr + at night), but I recently discovered that if I lie down still for 30-60 minutes after lunch, I get into this restorative meditative state. I can feel my arms getting heavier and I might twitch a bit, and I can feel like there's some kind of pressure in my head, but I'm still fully conscious. Despite not falling asleep, this short "nap" can feel like I effectively had 2-3 hours more sleep. Feels like it's flushing out all the bad stuff it didn't have enough time to do at night.
I definitely think it's learnable. I think for many people it's a mindset. After a particularly heavy lunch, sometimes I'll get the urge to go lie down. In those cases, I can be asleep within minutes after putting my head on the pillow/couch.
The key for me is to be mindful that I'm trying to relax.
At night, I can often find myself laying awake for hours. The quickest way to fall asleep in those instances is to turn on something I find relaxing and close my eyes. Note: what I find relaxing isn't stereotypical all of the time. Recently, I've been listening to people scream at each other about online politics. Other times it's smooth jazz. Do what works for you that day.
Routines and habits are also very powerful. If you want to take a nap after lunch, try and lie down every day after lunch. After a few days of repeatedly taking a lunch nap, your body will naturally start to fall into that habit and it will get easier to fall asleep. I'm guessing habit is largely what drives the siesta culture in many places.
The secret is to take the pressure out. It's about just relaxing your entire body as much as you can with your eyes close, like you do when you actually go to sleep. Even if you don't sleep, it's still beneficial.
I've never been able to nap and it doesn't seem to be changing as I approach 40. If I'm desperately exhausted or stressed from sleep deprivation, I can sometimes lie down and rest and then get up feeling sort of refreshed. That's usually the closest I get.
It’s amazing how much better you feel even from just lying down for a while. I wonder how much is from the physical act and how much is from the mental. If it’s the former one of those crazy computer setups where you can recline significantly could help.
For what it’s worth, the opposite also works for me. I have a standing desk and walking treadmill and I find walking helps keep me alert.
For me one key to be able to rest / nap is to make sure I have my phone on silent and away from me, then set a 20 or 30 minute timer to ensure I don't rest too long. Knowing that anything that you need to respond to will only have to wait 20 or 30 minutes helps me detach and relax. Lying down for 20 minutes, 15 of which is sleep, is extremely restorative, and I can do it several times during the day if I'm really struggling.
At 8:30p: Last big glass of water. Put phone on charger in non-bedroom and don’t touch until 7a. Keep the lights low and warm. Do low stimulation activities like reading fiction or watching semi-boring TV or chatting with your family. Lay down when you can’t keep your eyes open anymore.
Big change for me. The phone especially is poison for evening tranquillity.
Also try a multi day hike through the wilderness to reset your circadian rhythm. This combines heavy levels of exercise, no phone access, and you wake up/sleep with sunrise/sunset.
To maintain your circadian rhythm during normal times, try to wake up and go to sleep at the same time every day and eat only during three meals per day at the same time each day, avoid caffeine later in the day and also follow the advice of others here. Keep the room you are going to sleep in very dark and quiet. Don't go to bed until you are ready to fall asleep - don't use tv/phone/computer in bed.
Helpful to know: Exercising hard in general I think is helpful. I am not a morning person but I sleep extremely well when I go climbing in the gym for ~2 hrs or so in the evenings, after dinner. I pretty much have dinner, go there, warm up and climb, go back, shower and sleep, and that guarantees a deep sleep for me. I also tend to wake up with a clear head and can easily solve stuff I was struggling with the day before.
I’m also not a morning person, but another reason why hard exercise wouldn’t work for me, in the morning, is that after hard exercise it takes a few hours for my brain to function properly again (someone on HN a few months ago explained its because the body prioritises getting oxygen to the muscles instead of to the brain). At least, I’m unable to work for a while after going to the gym. For this reason, I bow only go to the gym after work.
Light exercise like going for a walk is ok though.
just food for thought, there is quite a bit of research showing that hard exercise right before bed is not optimal. i think its fair to say any is better than none, and if it works for you, it works for you. but the argument is that hard exercise raises you metabolism and body temperature, which is in direct opposition of what your body needs to do to enter deep sleep (lower body temperature)
Parents basically can't do anything leisure-related with electronics or the Internet, at all, if they shut that stuff off at 8:30 every day.
Which might be for the best anyway, but it is so tempting to still try to keep up with movies, TV, video games, side-projects, social media, et c, even though you're effectively working damn near an 80-hour week. Easier to fit in exercise after the kids are asleep, too, unless you save all that for the weekend or take time out of paying work to do it instead. Or get up stupid early. Like, much earlier than 7.
> id say its fairly normal to at least answer slack between 700am and 9pm
Uh...it really isn't.
Unless your job requires being on-call, such as IT, incident response, or site reliability, you shouldn't be getting Slack messages that late. There's no reason a software engineer should be responding to messages 14 hours/day.
Let's start by saying "the world isn't IT" and thus the idea of answering Slack at all is a trade-specific thing. Many people are not as wired to their computers for work. That said:
Do you get paid oncall for your availability past 8 hours?
I'm a consultant (get paid salary but work at a customer site) and I turn off Slack notifications and Teams after 5pm. My boss and core team know how to reach me if something critical comes up. The only time that isn't the case is when I'm oncall, which I don't do in my current role. I'm also not an account manager, but I also don't get paid half a million a year.
And the answer to "screen time afterward" is "don't use a phone screen". The point is to avoid the interactivity of the phone at night. Grab a book/e-book or put on some longer-form video such as a TV show.
If you are young and grinding to climb up the corporate ladder or in an executive position at a default dead startup and happy doing it then your comment makes sense to me.
If you're not either of those things then your comment is extreme and sounds like you'd be happy in a 996 company. If software was 996 everywhere I would find a different career as I enjoy the rest of life too much.
8:30's about when dinner's been cooked, eaten, the kids are in bed, and about 50% of the day's mess has been cleaned up (you'll get the 250% of a day's mess that remains, after 5 week days, cleaned up on the weekend—at least, that's the lie you tell yourself)
I get almost no personal screen time—or other personal time, for that matter—before that (aside from time I steal to post on HN, like everyone else)
I have friends AND family and I manage it. If you wake up at 6 AM and go to bed at 10 PM, work 9 AM to 6 PM, and shut down all your screens and stuff at 8:30 PM, that gives you 8 hours of sleep a night, an hour to work out in the morning, 2 hours to eat breakfast and do morning stuff before work, 2.5 hours every evening for dinner, chores, screen relax time, as well as communication with friends and family, and then another 1.5 hours for low-stimulation home family time and reading. Sounds perfectly fine for a weekday.
Giving a very generous 1 hour for every meal and daily 1-hour workout, that still gets you 12.5 hours of non-working screen time for your work week, and 7.5 hours of lower-stimulation entertainment. And then you have your weekends for weekend stuff. What does your schedule look like where this is a serious problem?
Being constantly socially online with people you don't live with is honestly overrated. Cutting out social media is a good first step, and strengthened my most important social connections, and completely eliminated ones that I hadn't realized were empty and meaningless (do you really need to be "friends" with everybody you knew from high school?)
Melatonin a half hour before bed has changed my life. That and reading at night instead of watching TV.
Oh and this is the weird one... I sleep with one airpod/bluetooth headphone in. I have ADHD and if I'm not tired enough I'll wake up around 2-4 to pee then be awake thinking about work/family/stupid things I did 10 years ago. I don't know how I got started doing this but now I listen to an audiobook at very low volume on a 15 minute sleep timer. I only listen to books I've read a bunch (currently I cycle between Hyperion books, enders game, LOTR, a handful of King novels, Stoner, The Great Gatsby - pretty much any book where I can pick up at any time and know whats going on without being too interested) and fall asleep to that.
It prevents my mind from drifting and helps me sleep a lot better. As a bonus I get to reread/listen to classics I enjoy several times a year.
I don't know anyone else who does this but I've been doing it for 2-3 years and its changed sleep for me dramatically.
>I sleep with one airpod/bluetooth headphone in. I have ADHD and if I'm not tired enough I'll wake up around 2-4 to pee then be awake thinking about work/family/stupid things I did 10 years ago. I don't know how I got started doing this but now I listen to an audiobook at very low volume on a 15 minute sleep timer
Wow, this is me, I do the exact same thing. Concentrating on the audio gives me something different to focus on and inevitably puts me back to sleep.
I've slept with some kind of audio going for as long as I've had the ability to (i.e. since getting my first tape deck as a kid in the 80s). Certainly my parents found it hilarious that I'd put on a thrash metal tape and be asleep by the second song, whereas in silence I'd be awake for much longer. I've moved from music to speech and these days I wear an earphone because my partner doesn't share my taste in podcasts, but the habit is still strong after ~40 years. I never thought it was particularly weird, and have always assumed a fair number of people do the same. None of my partners have ever thought it odd, or told me so at least.
I can't tell you why I do it, mind. I don't think I'd claim it drowns out unwelcome thoughts - if anything, when my mental health is poor the thoughts drown out the audio. I basically just don't really get on well with silence. To my knowledge I don't have ADHD.
I've always done the same. As you say, it does have to be something very familiar. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy original radio series more often than not, for me. I've tried purpose created material, like This Book Will Send You to Sleep on Audible, but it was too interesting.
I've never tried with a Bluetooth headphone but have always used a wired one, with one line cut off a the Y junction to help avoid tangling. Sometimes have to use a player which supports sending stereo as mono, otherwise you often only get one side of the dialog in dramatisations, like Hitchhiker's.
I don’t believe this is the case, though it’s worth noting that the doses you typically find at pharmacies are much larger than you actually need. From what I’ve read it’s unlikely to be habit-forming at lower doses and it typically works just as well (if not better) at those doses.
> very hard to go back to sleep if woken up in between
Melatonin solves this for me. It takes very little (~0.3mg) to achieve about the largest clinically-observed effect. Makes it easier for me to stay asleep.
For getting to sleep earlier (or even just at a normal, but still fairly late time) reliably, I've found two solutions:
1) Approximately no electricity after sundown (or just a little after sundown, in the Winter). No light sources brighter than a few candles (enough to read by). Warm light only. Nothing with a screen except an e-ink reader. You can still: play music; listen to music (if you can be disciplined about it, a couple moments of screen to put on another album is probably fine, if you don't have a screen-free way to do that, or otherwise, find a screen-free way, it can be done cheaply); listen to podcasts or radio (ditto); play board and card games (~10-20 candle power scattered around a room is a tiny fraction of typical nighttime house lighting for a room, but is plenty to do this to); read (aloud!); write; talk. But you must turn off the electricity-powered 24/7 carnival. Entirely. Ultra-bright lighting (once you're used to low-light the amount of light we flood our houses with at night will seem outright insane), computers, video games, Netflix. Zero, zero of that.
2) Weed. [EDIT: I have tried prescription meds for this, too—the ones I tried did work, but not as well, left me feeling like shit in the morning even if I got a solid 8 hours of sleep, and especially left me feeling like shit if I tried to use them late in the evening after I realized I was going to have trouble falling asleep, rather than just taking them every day at a set, earlier time]
> Approximately no electricity after sundown (or just a little after sundown, in the Winter).
Jesus God, where do you live? The sun goes down at 17:00-17:30 for most of the year here. I'd lose all of my free time if I did that.
IME melatonin an hour before bedtime, and setting screen color temperature to a really low value works wonders (I've been using 2000K at night and 3200K in daytime, sometimes even 1800K). I can stare at the screen for 16 hours and then go straight to bed, and be off in a few minutes.
I had two children, before that I was a terrible sleeper, would take me an hour+ to fall asleep. Now I can close my eyes and go to sleep with no issue. I think it was a kind of training when my kids were young and would wake up multiple times per night, when you got back to bed you made sure you went to to sleep ASAP as you could be up again shortly. There is an alleged military technique that works but I think the practice part is a big factor, https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/lifestyle/2018/09/the-secret-..., bad sleep habits are hard to break and good ones hard to build.
Definitely recommend the technique noted here as a good exercise.
Just _Intentionally_ relaxing the muscles in your face can make such a profound difference when trying to get to sleep. Especially when you don't even realize those muscles are not relaxed by default when laying around in bed.
Eye mask. iPhone in sleep mode at 7pm local time. In bed lights out no later than 9-10pm. Alarm set for 8am on wfh days, 7am on rare travel days when I have to catch a flight.
TLDR actively defend your sleep time. People think it’s wasted time, but it’s the most important work for long term health (including long term brain health). Money doesn’t buy back beating your body into the ground.
Pricey, but look in to Bose SleepBuds ][. Life changing for me. My wife got a pair later and hated them for the first 3 nights ("they hurt, can't sleep", etc) then it 'clicked' and she loves hers too. My brother picked up a pair for $100 on craigslist and... he likes his too (but doesn't use them every night apparently).
Respectfully, living well isn’t a waste of life. I live to enjoy my life (which I only get one of), and getting enough sleep to enjoy my day being well rested is a component of that. I’m not always sleeping 10 hours, but I’m never getting less than 8 hours. I let me body decide.
I got a white noise machine recently and it has been an absolute game-changer. I live in a pretty dense city and with warmer weather, neighbors have been spending more time hanging out outside. Their noise into the wee hours was keeping me up and preventing me from sleeping or enjoying open windows. I put the white noise machine next to my bed, set the thing on full blast, and have been sleeping through the night peacefully. Probably one of the better $50 spends I've made recently.
I'm not sure if your problem is noise or what but I'd wager that a machine like this could be helpful in a plethora of situations. It's just pretty calming.
Start with lifestyle modifications that help entrain your circadian rhythm. People who spend a lot of time indoors, especially if in dimly lit offices, have a very different light exposure pattern than our ancestors who were outdoors all day. You want to push your light exposure to match outdoor light: Very high intensity during the day, minimal light exposure in the evenings as you relax. Going outside for a 10-15 minute walk at lunch is enough to get started. Dimming the lights at home in the evening and limiting phone/TV usage is also huge. Many find that reading a paper book before bed instead of using a phone makes a huge difference.
Play with the other inputs to your circadian rhythms: Meal timing and physical activity are huge inputs. Try different dinner times earlier and later and you might be surprised to discover some large effects.
Adjust what you eat and how frequently. Some people wake up early because they’ve trained their bodies to run on a constant stream of carbs or sugar, which obviously can’t be sustained while you’re sleeping for many hours.
Stress reduction and addressing any mental health issues is also important. Early morning waking isn’t uncommon in depressed patients and often resolves with depression treatment. Even non-depressed people can benefit from stress reduction and relaxation exercises.
A simple but counterintuitive trick which really had a major impact in my case was spending less time in bed. This way, sleep is maximized as a portion of total time in bed. Your mind starts to associate being in bed more strongly with being asleep.
For example, if you usually spend 7 hours 30 from the moment you go into bed to the moment you get out of it, you could try 6 hours and 45 minutes: you would probably be sleep-deprived for a few days until your body can't take it anymore and will have to use that smaller time-window more efficiently. You could then adjust time in bed depending on your results.
Things that had an impact too, but probably more minor:
- Being exposed to direct sunlight ("direct" meaning with no window in between, looking at the sky for example, not at the sun directly!) as early as possible after waking-up
- Cold shower in the morning (in the evening, better if the shower is warm/hot) for its thermogenic effect
+ of course, the usual advice: no screen in the evening, exercise, dinner early, etc.
I fall asleep with triggers; for me they are mp3s of comedy tv shows. It needs to be something that I know through and through. I sleep with one earbud in and pass out when max a few minutes into an episode. It stays on when I wake up I sleep again (usually don’t even notice that I woke up; sometimes my wife says I did). I am also a lucid dreamer, I can usually get back to the dream I was already in or stop my dream to get into another one. Although I might dream all of that; I do remember a lot of detail in the morning.
> Researchers from the University of Chicago and the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that study participants consumed on average 270 calories less per day over two weeks if they slept at least one hour more than normal.
When I saw the title I suspected it was related to eating more if you slept less. I find myself doing this when I cheat myself out of a goodnight's sleep.
Also makes sense if you think about it; little opportunity for sleeping was likely an indicator of external stressors during our evolution, so up-regulatibg energy intake during those times seems reasonable.
Anecdotally, I can also attest that I'm much more likely to want junk food if I haven't slept enough. Just do a quick google search for "lack of sleep hunger" and you'll see tons of articles and papers popup.
Does the study correct for the reason why the participants slept less than 6.5h/day? I'd suspect for many people the reason they don't get enough sleep is also the reason they find it difficult to maintain an optimal diet or exercise (and thus gain weight), i.e. stress.
For me it’s at least partially a choice. I’m not too stressed but find it easy to stay up late if I don’t make an effort to go to bed. (I had already observed that when I sleep more, it’s easier to lose weight.)
I feel like this has been known forever in the fitness industry / community.
They've been saying for so long that
1. Sleeping more means less eating (both because you're asleep, duh, and because ghrelin is reduced)
2. Sleeping more means weight loss is higher % from body fat (not lean mass)
3. Sleep is important for recovery for training and then you can exercise again sooner
For me I have a guideline that Sleep > Nutrition > Exercise > <bucket for all the other things, eg supplements> -- such that I will sacrifice the lesser thing if it means I do better with the greater thing.
If I have to choose between getting at least 7 hours sleep or exercise, I sleep. (Ideally getting 8-9hrs sleep for my body)
If I have to choose between having satiating, low calorie - high nutrition foods in the house, and exercising, I go grocery shopping or get chopping.
To play devil's advocate here, there are several things that have or had been "known forever in the fitness industry / community", which are just plain false. "No pain, no gain" is probably the most famous.
Getting sufficient sleep is on the same level of importance for overall health as proper exercise and nutrition.
Among other things, sleep is when the majority of most people's fat loss occurs, because the body is in a fasted state, oxidizing lipids for basal energy needs, and expelling the resultant Carbon Dioxide and water.
There are a great many other metabolic systems in the body that are detrimentally affected by a lack of sleep too. It's quite important to get enough!
Not exactly. Sleep quality (phase) plays a big role in this. Non-restorative sleep, regardless of duration, is not going to result in meaningful weight loss. The exception being that if you sleep through 1 or 2 meals it might, but that suggests other problems.
personal experience X a bit of personal research on the matter:
- deep sleep is restorative (AIUI the brain needs deep sleep otherwise it poisons itself, whereas e.g muscles don't, they need rest)
- light sleep is important too but I feel that was not the question
- I noticed I had a hard time falling asleep early/at "normal" hours
- even if I did, waking up before 9am made me feel terrible through the day until 4pm, even though I had 8-12h of sleep
- I got a fitness device (back then fitbit charge HR, now garmin forerunner 735xt) for unrelated reasons but figured out any data could be helpful as long as I'm aware of the limitations and error margins. Either device I had/have cannot record REM sleep, only deep+light+movement (via HR monitor+accelerometers)
- over five years, data shows that either I sleep no earlier than 1am, or when I sleep before, it's only light sleep and a lot of movement, deep sleep starting between 1-3am
- also, attempts at imposing myself an earlier sleep schedule (in order to get 8h of sleep given I started work at 9am) resulted in worse sleep/later deep sleep
- sometimes on a given night, cumulative deep sleep as reported may look to be enough (e.g 3-4h) but looking at that night timeline graph showed that it was extremely segmented instead of a couple or three chunks
- even if I'm extremely tired I cannot sleep before 1am. it's that or I sleep at 7-9pm and wake up within an hour after 23pm, theb can't get back to sleep until 3-4am
- exercise helps (1h a day), circadian lighting helps (via home assistant + ikea tradfri), reading before sleep helps, time outside helps, sex helps, but any of that does not offset my schedule, it only makes it so I get more/better deep sleep
- food doesn't seem to have much of an effect on me, except sugary stuff which makes me twitchy, and pasta which makes me sleepy but sleep quality is no better (and actually worse because it screws up my schedule)
- caffeine has a measurable effect when taken after 2pm, non measurable before that
- alcohol ruins my deep sleep with some linear-ish correlation
- I also tracked weight, with bad sleep I could eat very little and not lose extra weight, but as soon as I get good sleep over a long enough duration, I can shed extra weight quickly, irrespective of food or exercise
Overall, the device helped a lot in clearing some biases and understanding myself better, even though its data is imperfect and imprecise (e.g sometimes data is obviously messed up, sometimes it can't account for odd sleeping events) but being cognizant of that allowed me to interpret said data, understand specific events and long term trends, and manage my sleep schedule.
EDIT: scratch the 5 years, I just checked and it's actually 8 years, with some gaps. goddammit time flies.
You loose weight by lowering your insulin enough to start burning fat. Sleeping longer means that your insulin stays lower for longer. So the real reason is the benefit of lowering your insulin. Not sleep itself.
If your caffeine use is interfering with your sleep, then it's adversely affecting your overall health. That's generally a good reason to discontinue or limit use of a substance.
I get it though, we all like our pleasures in life. But some of them aren't good for us, so we have to choose between the short term pleasure of substance use versus the long term pleasure of not just longer life, but higher quality life when we're older.
Fewer hours awake is fewer hours snacking. When I was doing a big weight loss I'd be very careful about putting myself to bed at like 22:00, because the later I'm awake, the greater my risk of snacks and booze entering the picture.
That may be true for most people, however, there are many conditions that cause obesity outside of those two factors. Unfortunately, people are judged for being obese, even if it is due to a chronic illness or other factors outside of their direct control.
Nothing wrong with promoting healthy eating and exercise, but unfortunately, this often turns into negative judgement against people that do not deserve it. These negative judgements often cause real harm. I know people whose doctors have dismissed all symptoms of real diseases, simply because they were obese. "Just lose weight" is what they've been told, far too often, when, in fact, there were serious conditions that needed immediate treatment.
So yes, promote healthy habits, but please do so carefully, and without judgement.
Voicing an agreement with this. We know certain serious health conditions can actually cause obesity, so excessive attribution of symptoms to weight often makes things worse. More than once I've come across cases where someone's obesity is used to eg. overlook unexplained weight loss (an obvious cancer indication).
When 70%+ are overweight, 40%+ are obese, even in age 20 to 30, and 20%+ are obese in age 12 to 19, I think it is reasonable to make statements referring to the population at large needing lifestyle changes.
Applying broad population-level statistics over the individual patient is inappropriate medicine. An obese person who is losing a medically significant amount weight without going on a diet should be a serious sign for cancer screening, not a "well, good for you" and having the obese person's concerns totally ignored. An obese person who is gaining medically significant amounts of weight without lifestyle changes should be a serious sign for fluid retention issues, kidney failure, etc., not a "eat less" and having the person's concerns totally ignored.
That's what I mean. I meant it in the least judgmental way possible (fat lotta good that did, eh?). I feel that "we" Americans keep looking for "quick fix" cures, and people are more than willing to sell them to us, but the classics never go out of style.
I am an energetic person. I really find it very hard to fall asleep. But once i do, i really go into deep sleep, 7 to 8 hours of deep sleep.
Also i am in my thirties. And i am still very fit and athletic body shape.
Ppl are always surprised to know know that i am 30+
I only eat healthy food. Because i am very selective when it come to food and i don’t feel hungry much.
My brother used to be in a great shape. But past 30 he become overweight.
Sleep is good but what you eat and how much you eat is the key
I've become extremely skeptical of this type of study. IMO, sleep needs and patterns vary so much between individuals that it's basically impossible for highly generic advice like this to be meaningful.
I'd counter that only on Hacker News would you find somebody who insists that a single person must be right about everything about a complex subject because he has some fancy titles. In other words, appeal to authority.
Yeah no. All of the no. Reality is king. If somebody with some fancy titles and a few podcasts tells you that they sky is green when anybody can walk out the door and see it, are you going to believe him? Authority figures and those with supposedly prestigious titles are sometimes completely wrong, and nobody should be believed blindly.
But those figures are usually at least trying. I think rather less of the person whose knowledge consists of listening to a half dozen podcasts from one guy and believes that qualifies him to go around the internet lecturing people about how ignorant they supposedly are because they don't bow down to the one self-proclaimed expert that they somehow stumbled upon.