Yoga for a better bedtime

Sleep tight, dear dieters

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If there’s a little more of you than you love, make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep and keeping your stress level low. According to researchers from Kaiser Permanente, that may help you shed the extra pounds.

That’s what a team of physicians led by Charles Elder found in a recent study, according to the results they reported in the International Journal of Obesity.  Over the course of six months, they tracked the behavior and progress of 500 Kaiser Permenente patients in Oregon and Washingon who were trying to lose weight. The participants received diet and exercise instructions, attended weekly meetings that included weigh-ins and kept records of what they ate and how they slept and felt each day.

No surprise: Those who exercised regularly (the recommended amount was 180 minutes per week) and reduced calorie intake (recommended, 500 fewer per day) lost weight. Surprise: Those who got between six and eight hours of sleep and reported the lowest stress levels were the most likely to lose the most weight — 10 pounds or more.

Elder and his team concluded that getting the right amount of sleep and reducing stress can turbo-charge the usual diet plan.

“Some people may just need to cut back on their schedules and get to bed earlier,” he said. ” Others may find that exercise can reduce stress and help them sleep. For some people, mind/body techniques such as meditation also might be helpful.”

Participants who lost 10 pounds or more during the study moved on to phase two, where the effectiveness of alternative techniques, such as acupressure, was measured when used in combination with traditional techniques. Elder and company will be reporting the results of phase two later. They’ll also be tracking the study group for another six months to see how well participants keep the weight off.

Author: Heidi Kyser

I am a freelance writer and part-time yoga instructor in Las Vegas. I started my yoga practice in 2000, at City Yoga Los Angeles. In early 2004, I moved to Las Vegas and began practicing at Sherry Goldstein's Yoga Sanctuary. In 2006, following some big changes in my life, I went through a teacher training and started teaching at Yoga Sanctuary. I knew after my first class that I wanted to keep teaching yoga for as long as I could. In 2007, I completed a 200-hour Anusara teacher training with Noah Mazé and City Yoga founder Anthony Benenati. As part of that training, I received Yoga Alliance RYT 200 certification. From 2008 to 2011, I also was an Anusara Inspired™ instructor. While continuing my career in journalism, I've simultaneously nurtured my skills as a yoga instructor, in order to better communicate with and help my students. The trainings and workshops I've taken have focused increasingly on the therapeutic benefits of the practice. Thanks for visiting. If you like my posts, please subscribe and comment. I hope that you will read and contribute often.

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