Sleeping: A new way to lose those poundzzzzz?

Believe it or not, this man is actually in the process of losing weight — sort of.

The idea of sleeping yourself thin sounds like the desperate fantasy of a failed dieter. But there’s a basic, common-sense principle behind this idea. Insomniacs are permanently tired, and while coffee works part of the time, eventually cravings for carbs, particularly sugar, take over. Midmorning doughnuts (plural) and afternoon candy bars (likewise) become daily habits.

Sleep studies back up this theory. One found that cutting sleep down to just four hours a night increased levels of ghrelin, a hormone that increases appetite, by 28 percent after only two days, while levels of leptin, a hormone that registers satiety and regulates energy, dropped by 18 percent.

“Not getting enough sleep changes the body’s metabolic process,” says Dr. David Volpi, director of  the Manhattan Snoring and Sleep Center. “When we’re tired, we eat more and exercise less because we’re exhausted. Also, being overweight can cause sleep apnea (interrupted breathing), which further disturbs rest.”

One study of 500 overweight adults who underwent a six-month diet and exercise program resulted in 60 percent losing at least 10 pounds, while others lost nothing or put on weight. The people in that 60 percent shared one thing: Each person slept for six to eight hours every night.

Getting back on track with sleep isn’t easy, but it is achievable.

“I’m not a big fan of drugs,” says Dr. Volpi.

It’s much better to tackle underlying causes, which can be stress, anxiety or depression — as well as caffeine, drug or alcohol use. You should also avoid eating sugary foods, particularly chocolate and especially at night.

“Also, don’t go to bed until you’re tired,” adds Dr. Volpi. “Lying there, staring at the ceiling, is only going to make you more anxious.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

'Five Star': A coming-of-age story about Brooklyn's gang…

'Five Star' tells a coming-of-age story about Brooklyn's gang culture at the Tribeca Film Festival.

National

New statue of Penn State's Paterno set for…

By David DeKokHARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Fundraising for a new statue depicting Joe Paterno "as the man he was and not Joe the football coach"…

Local

NYPD detective shoots partner: DA

A New York City Police detective was arrested early Thursday and charged with driving under the influence while on the clock.

Local

Judge strikes down NY limits on donations to…

A federal judge on Thursday reluctantly struck down New York's limits on donations to independent political action committees as unconstitutional, potentially ushering in a new…

Music

Championship of Collegiate a Cappella: Students who are…

Tickets to this Saturday’s International Championship of Collegiate a Cappella reportedly sold out within 11 hours of going on sale.

Music

M.I.A. talks 'Matangi,' divinity, spontaneity and holograms

"There’s pressure for me to become a theatrical production like 'Glee,' or something" says M.I.A., "It’s like, 'the pressure’s on, bitches.'"

Movies

Tribeca: 'Goodbye to All That' star Paul Schneider…

Paul Schneider talks about his new film "Goodbye to All That," not acting too much and how he'd rather indulge in simple pleasures than play the scene.

The Word

Taylor Swift battles paparazzi daily at Tribeca penthouse

We're entranced by these photos of poor Taylor Swift leaving her Tribeca apartment.

NHL

Rangers unlikely to change lineup, Steve Mason in…

Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault wouldn't say much, but don't expect any lineup changes.

NBA

Jason Collins named to Time's 100 Most Influential…

Jason Collins was named to the list after coming out as the first openly gay player to appear in an NBA game.

NBA

Nets excited for Brooklyn fans to bring the…

Kevin Garnett has definitely used profanity while trash talking or in practices, but never to describe an entire borough.

NHL

Rangers turn up shot blocking in Game 3…

Game 3 of the Rangers-Flyers opneing round series was not a return to John Tortorella hockey.

Parenting

New study: Inside the wage gap between boys…

According to a new study, there's a wage gap between boys and girls, with boys earning more allowance for less chores.

Tech

From Apple TV to Fire TV, big changes…

Apple is set to launch a new generation of it's Apple TV, which grossed over $1 billion in 2013. But competition from Amazon and Google looms.

Style

Katy Perry releases a new Claire’s collection

Katy Perry expands her empire by releasing an accessories collection at Claire's.

Style

MAC & Proenza Schouler collection unveiled

MAC Cosmetics is releasing a new collection with Proenza Schouler.