Study: Sleep more to lose the baby weight

Filed under: Just For Moms, Babies, Your Pregnancy, Health & Safety: Babies

If you are having trouble dropping those pounds you gained during pregnancy, perhaps you just need more sleep. According to new research, getting a few extra hours in each day will not only help you feel better, but will assist you getting back to your pre-pregnancy weight.

This finding came out of a prenatal and postnatal health study of 940 women at Harvard Medical School in Boston. The results indicate that new mothers who slept five hours or less each night when their babies were six months old were three times more likely to still be carrying around that extra baby weight by the child's first birthday than mothers who got more rest.

"We've known for some time that sleep deprivation is associated with weight gain and obesity in the general population, but this study shows that getting enough sleep -- even just two hours more -- may be as important as a healthy diet and exercise for new mothers to return to their pre-pregnancy weight," said Erica Gunderson of Kaiser Permanente.

This brings up two questions in my mind. First, when did they decide that sleeping helped you to lose weight? I must have missed that one somehow. Is it because it is impossible to eat when you are asleep?

Second, how in the world is a new mother supposed to sleep more when she has a demanding infant in the house? Dr. Matthew Gillman of Harvard Medical School has anticipated that question and has a ready answer: "Our team is working on new studies to answer this important question." He must be joking, right?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.