Authors of a research study published in the latest issue of the medical journal, Annals of Internal Medicine concluded that a lack of sleep has a profound impact on the fat loss process. Researchers compared the difference between receiving 8.5 hours of sleep per night and 5.5 hours per night. Study subjects slightly reduced caloric intake (the amount of calories consumed on a daily basis). The results were incredibly interesting: Subjects who received less sleep lost a significant amount of lean muscle tissue (not good) and lost very little fat tissue (also not good). Those who received 8.5 hours of sleep lost primarily fat and retained muscle tissue.
The take home-message of the study: When we try to lose weight, it is imperative that we are receiving adequate sleep. If our sleep is compromised, we will find it very difficult to lose fat and will be much more likely to lose muscle tissue (our ally in fighting fat long term).