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
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.