Getting regular and uninterrupted sleep may help people adhere to physical activity and dietary modifications prescribed in weight loss programs, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology, Prevention, Lifestyle & Cardiometabolic Health Scientific Sessions 2023.
The Study... Researchers examined sleep habits and adherence to lifestyle modifications in a 12-month weight loss program that included 125 overweight or obese adults. After adjusting for age, gender, race, and bed-sharing status, the study found that better sleep health was associated with higher attendance rates at group intervention sessions, adherence to caloric intake goals, and improvement in time spent performing moderate-vigorous physical activity.
Importance of Sleep... Sleep was added in 2022 as the eighth component of optimal cardiovascular health, which includes eating healthy food, being physically active, not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and controlling cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure levels.
The Limitations... A few limitations of the study are that it did not incorporate any intervention to help participants improve their sleep, the sample was primarily white and female, and the overall sample population had relatively good sleep health at baseline.
Future research questions include whether improving sleep health can increase adherence to lifestyle modifications and ultimately increase weight loss and whether sleep should be optimized before or during attempted weight loss.