According to the latest study published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, unsuccessful dieting brings something more than just your weight back, it can also cause sleep disturbances.
By now, most are familiar with the many issues associated with yo-yo dieting. Well, the study of AHA’s “Go Red for Women” Strategically Focused Cohort confirmed yet another one — poor sleep.
In short, women that reported having a History of Weight Cycling (HWC) also showed signs of restless sleep. Namely, fluctuating weight, or weight cycling, was defined as an event where women lost and regained at least 10lbs once or multiple times over the course of their life, excluding pregnancies.
Furthermore, over two-thirds of the 500 women in the study reported at least one weight cycling event. For those that had more, sleep parameters deteriorated progressively with each additional episode. These include:
- less sleep
- unrestful sleep
- severe insomnia
- longer sleep-inducing time
- higher frequency of sleep disturbances
- increased use of sleep medication
- greater daytime dysfunction
In addition, these women were five times more likely to develop Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).
However, researchers now find themselves in a chicken or the egg kind of scenario. Namely, which of these comes first — overeating or low-quality sleep? Neither, according to them, as they are both closely interconnected.
Meanwhile, it’s clear that not even having the best espresso machine can repair the damage that poor sleep induces. Multiple studies confirmed the link between poor sleep and the increased risk of developing chronic diseases, such as:
- Diabetes type 2
- Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs)
On the other hand, women participants who managed a constant weight scored better on each sleep quality criterion, regardless of their age and ethnicity.