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Sleep is key to losing weight, says Norfolk expert

PUBLISHED: 18:00 19 May 2009 | UPDATED: 09:38 06 July 2010

Most of us have struggled with losing a few pounds, but now one Norfolk expert says that a good night's sleep could be the missing link.

Neil Stanley, clinical trials manager at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and a sleep researcher, has produced a report called Caught in the Inslimniac Trap.

Most of us have struggled with losing a few pounds, but now one Norfolk expert says that a good night's sleep could be the missing link.

Neil Stanley, clinical trials manager at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and a sleep researcher, has produced a report called Caught in the Inslimniac Trap. It says that although diet and exercise are important, people are failing to realise that a good night's sleep is also vital.

Dr Stanley said: “Getting a good night's sleep is important on so many levels. If you are trying to reduce your weight or maintain a healthy weight, sleep is important. It is not enough to just say eat less and move more, sleep underpins that as well.”

“The more tired you are, the more you crave less healthy foods. You also have more opportunity to eat. Poor sleep affects your appetite and satiety hormones. You want to eat more often, you eat more and you don't stop eating. And the more tired you are, the less likely you are to exercise.”

He said that different people need different amounts of sleep, and anything between three and 11 hours can be right for an individual.

The report was commissioned by Horlicks, but Dr Stanley says that does not affect his conclusions. “I am sure Horlicks want to sell more Horlicks, but that is not my point. My point is that sleep is important and if people think more about sleep and improve their sleep then you will be healthier and happier for that. No-one is sticking up for sleep. We are a 24-hour society, a society that has fallen out of love with sleep.”

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