Do you have trouble falling and staying asleep? If you are carrying extra weight around your midsection, then you could possibly improve your sleep quality by losing a few pounds. There was a study recently done by a group of researchers at John Hopkins University School of Medicine that showed that people can sleep better if they lose weight around their midsection.
The study involved 77 overweight subjects. All of the subjects had either type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes. Many of the subjects were experiencing sleeping problems, such as daytime fatigue, insomnia or sleep apnea. The participants were divided into two groups. One group followed a diet and exercise program while the other group only followed the diet. The study lasted for six months.
The results of the study showed that the subjects in both groups were able to lose an average of 15 pounds. They were also able to reduce their abdominal fat by 15 percent. Additionally, the subjects in both groups noticed an improvement in sleep quality. There have been other studies done to confirm that there is a strong correlation between sleep quality and excess belly fat.
What Is The Link Between Belly Fat, Weight Loss And Sleep?
Excess body fat makes a person more susceptible to obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that occurs when the airway becomes partially or completely blocked. As a result of these temporary blockages, people who have sleep apnea frequently wake up at night. This also increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.
Researchers have found that exercise can help improve a person’s sleep quality. One study done by a team of researchers at Oregon State University showed that people who exercised for 150 minutes or more per week slept better at night. The subjects were also more alert during the day. However, experts caution against exercising right before going to bed. People who exercise late at night may have a more difficult time falling asleep.
Excess belly fat not only interferes with one’s ability to get a good night rest, but it also makes a person more susceptible to developing colon cancer, diabetes, dementia and heart disease. Therefore, people can improve their overall health by losing excess abdominal fat.
Improving Your Sleep Quality
There are hundreds of websites that list exercises that supposedly melt away fat. However, there is no magic exercise that will melt away fat. Eating a healthy diet and exercising are the key things that everyone will need to do to burn fat and lose weight.
Again, 150 minutes of exercise per week is recommended. You do not have to exercise for 30 minutes at a time, five days out of the week. You can break your exercise routine into shorter sessions. It is important to note that you probably will not be able to lose a significant amount of weight with just exercise. That is why you will have to reduce your caloric intake also.