Friday, October 8, 2010

Want to Burn More Fat? Go to bed.

An interesting study showing that those who slept more burned more fat than muscle on diets, while those who slept less burned more muscle than fat. Read it here:

Of course, knowing that extra sleep is helpful in losing fat and actually getting that extra hour of sleep are two completely different things. As someone who regularly rises at 5:30 am, I for one would love to get an extra hour or two of sleep a night. Hell, I would just like to be able to roll around in bed for fifteen or twenty minutes after waking up.

When you work, have kids, own a home and want to be able to fit in exercise into your schedule, however, getting enough sleep is tough. I do try to stay in bed as long as I can on the weekends, and it's not unusual for me to sometimes get to bed fairly early in the evenings when I can. I've also been known to take a nap mid-afternoon before the kids get home from school. Despite all that, however, I often find myself walking around in a state of perpetual tiredness, just looking for an opportunity to find a little time to get some sleep.

I don't think my situation is not all that unusual. Sleep has somewhat been de-prioritized in the last couple decades. With TV, computers etc, we all have far too many distractions to keep us up. Hell, we tend to get mocked (as I do), if you actually go to bed before 10 pm from time to time.

But, I do think we do need to prioritize sleep. Staying up to 11 pm to watch the latest episode Mad Men is not a really good idea if it cuts into your sleep time. I solved this issue myself by getting a DVR and record shows that are on late at night. What's more, the DVR is on the TV in front of my treadmill, so if I want to watch Mad Men then I have to get on the treadmill to do so.

And, instead of playing around on the computer when you have some time to kill mid-day, maybe it would be better to take a nap. I know I'm going to be thinking about taking more naps now that I've read about this study.

The truth is I always feel guilty about taking naps, even being somewhat embarrassed to admit that I do so. Napping, like wide shouldered suits, is something that just seems so unfashionable. People don't nap anymore, just like they prefer to stay awake late watching TV.

Maybe we should all get in the habit of taking more naps and going to bed a little earlier.

Apparently, it would be good for our BMIs.


  1. I'm also walking around in a perpetual state of tiredness, but my problem is that my "internal clock" is not on schedule with the rest of the world. Regardless of how tired I am in the morning, how hard it is for me to "wake up", I will inevitably get my "second wind" aroung 9pm and feel wide awake. If I try to go to sleep, I just lay there, tossing and turning. I wish the world operated on an afternoon shift! I'd be very happy going to bed about 2am. How do I change my internal clock!?! I end up going to bed around midnight most nights.

    Naps are good and bad for me. If I can manage to take about a 15 minute nap, its great. I wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go. But if I sleep for more than that, I'll not only wake up grumpy and feeling bad, but then I cant go to sleep at night.

    Any ideas on adjusting the internal clock?

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  3. I finally got up this AM at 5:30 after lying awake for at least two hours. I used to just get up at 3 or 3:30AM, but now I force myself to stay in bed as long as I can. Sometimes I fall back to sleep, but mostly not. I generally fall asleep between 10 - 10:30PM. I know that 5 - 5.5 hours of sleep is not enough, and about once a week I actually sleep in till 5AM. I'm not worried about anything, and I live a relatively calm life -- I think it is just my body clock. About once a week, I get so tired that I do lie down around 1PM to nap. The phone always rings just as I have fallen asleep -- I am not kidding about this. I get very few phone calls, but when I nap, 100% of the time the phone rings. Anyway, I'm glad you posted about this because now I can say that I have an excuse for being fat! hahaha

  4. I nap nearly daily and I'm not ashamed of it at all! I find that many people wish that they were able to nap during the afternoon. I've done it when possible for as long as I can remember!

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