Yeah, I know I just posted an article about sleep but I just ran across this study that I thought was interesting. Don’t worry, this will be a quick one.
A recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine looked at the connection of calorie restriction and sleep deprivation. For two weeks the participants ate 10% lower calories for two weeks with half of the participants told to sleep for 8.5 hours per night and the other half to sleep for 5.5 hours per night (actual reported sleep times were approximately 7.5 and 5.25 hours respectively). While both groups loss both fat and lean mass (muscle), the high sleep group loss on average 80% fat versus the low sleep group loss only 48% fat. So you will lose weight if your sleep deprived but almost half will be muscle loss that will lower your resting metabolic rate making it more likely that you will put the weight back on (which by the way will be 100% fat). The end result being your back to the same weight although weaker with less muscle mass. Awesome!
I would argue that most weight loss programs are more effective in the long run if you are including some strength training to limit any muscle loss. Athletes that go through a weight gain cycle (beer and corn dogs) followed by a quick weight loss cycle every year so they can return to their in-season weight without a good quality strength program are making themselves weaker every year. Not a good way to make year-to-year gains.
The investigators further determined that lack of sleep has a harmful impact on carbohydrate metabolism and endocrine function (primarily cortisol release). The effects are similar to those seen in normal ageing and therefore sleep debt may increase the severity of age-related chronic disorders. Not a good thing for being a high performing athlete.
Sorry for the lack of photos on this post. Here is one for your visual pleasure: