Losing weight (in the belly) improves sleep quality for overweight people

Megan Smith
 min read

Losing weight (in the belly) improves sleep quality. Or at least for overweight people.

losing weight (in the belly) improves sleep quality for overweight peopleNo matter if this weight loss is a result of changing your diet, working out frequently, or both.

Getting better sleep is guaranteed if you lose belly fat as plus-size individual!

That’s what research by Johns Hopkins scientists found. Discover more details below.

Sleep quality improvement among overweight individuals

Professor of medicine, Kerry Stewart, at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine reports they discovered that a higher sleep quality is closely related to overall weight loss, especially belly fat.

Stewart is the senior author and director of the research study covering the relationship between belly fat, weight loss and sleep quality.

This research study was presented on November 6, 2012 during the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions by lead author Soohyun Nam from the Yale University School of Nursing.

Her presentation of the study was called: Predictors of Sleep Quality Improvement Among Overweight and Obese Individuals: A Randomized Controlled Experiment.

Research details: Facts and figures

The research study took six months and studied 77 people who had type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes.

The participants were mainly obese or overweight and they were randomly divided into two groups:

  • The first group went on a diet AND had supervised exercise training.
  • The other group just had the weight-loss diet plan.

55 participants completed all stages of the study.

Survey at the beginning and the end

The participants took the Hopkins Sleep Survey at the beginning and the end of the study.

This survey determined sleep issues, like:

  • Sleep apnea
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Agitated sleep
  • Extreme sleepiness
  • Use of medication to improve sleep quality

Determination of Body Mass Index at the beginning and the end

Their BMI (Body Mass Index) and belly fat were determined at the same time, once at the beginning and once at the end of the study.

Both study groups lost on average 15 pounds. Interestingly, both groups also lost about 15 percent of belly fat.

This loss of belly fat was estimated by a body scan called magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Results: Losing weight (in the belly) improves sleep quality by 20%

A variety of sleep issues were reported by the participants. But none were more common than the others.

Hence, the researchers decided to work with a more global composite rating which reflects the total sleep health of each participant.

They found that both groups improved their general sleep quality by about 20 percent.

There were no differences between the groups.

Reduction of body fat to improve sleep quality is the key

The researchers of the study concluded that the key for better sleep quality is the loss of overall body fat. But especially the loss of belly fat improves sleep quality.

This applies to everyone, no matter the gender (female or male) or age (young or old).

There was also no difference between losing weight by exercising or not (in combination with a healthy diet).

Tip: Besides weight loss, a comfortable bed can also improve your sleep quality.

If you’re plus-size and/or tall and looking for a space-saving loft or bunk bed, have a look at the best sturdy bunk beds for adults.

Why sleep quality is important

Good sleep quality is just like heart-healthy food essential for a healthy cardiovascular system and good physical health.

And did you know that good sleep quality can help you to lose weight while you sleep and boost your weight loss efforts?

Chronic sleep disorders increase the threat of

  • Hypertension
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Stroke
  • Irregular heartbeats

Being overweight increases the threat of the sleep issues mentioned above so trying to burn belly fat is a good idea.

And if you are really keen to improve your sleep quality, then we suggest you read our extensive list of sleep tips for plus-size individuals.

For your information: This research study was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.

About Megan Smith

Megan has been fighting overweight and her plus size since her teenage years. After trying all types of remedies without success, she started doing her own research. Megan founded Plus Size Zeal to share her findings. She also developed various detailed buying guides for plus-size people in order to make their lives easier and more comfortable. Read More