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Why Losing Weight May Be Harder for Night Owls

Are you a night owl and wondering how to lose weight? If so, one important step to help you meet your goals is to say good night to going to bed late. A new study has found that night owls are more sedentary and find it difficult to stick to exercise schedules. Read More

As a fitness motivated person

As a fitness motivated person and former (and sometimes) night owl, this isn't exactly rocket science here. If you are tired, you tend to eat more and will have less energy to exercise.

I used to be a 2am-7am sleeper, I was 40lbs overweight and I never worked out.

Once I started to lose the weight and work out I found myself going to bed earlier and earlier. One interesting thing though was for a time, after I was getting in shape I'd go to bed at 10ish and find myself waking up at 4am, and this was after I was in shape. That eventually passed, and it wasn't simply my body being used to less sleep since it started after I was already getting normal sleep.

It just all comes down to "healthy" living, and part of that is getting enough sleep.

Overly Simplistic

Correlation does not imply causation. Ignoring the natural rhythms of your body by making yourself get up and go to sleep on an unnatural schedule does not seem likely to make it easier to eat well and exercise. I did much better after I accepted the fact that I am slow to wake up, and that if I tried to make time for exercise by getting out of bed earlier than was natural to me, it would never happen. Perhaps, instead, the problem is our overly structured society, which demands that we all be up and ready to work by 8 or 9am, so that the only time we have to ourselves and our own needs is at night, unless we get up before dawn.

Exercise makes me sleepy

At first, I thought it was just an adjustment phase, but after 3 months I had to give it up, I was just way too late with everything else in my life, from work to taxes and even having time to cook healthy meals. I don't know what's wrong with me. I am right in the middle of the health weight curve, so I should be healthy right? Anyhow. When I exercise, In sleep between 11 and 14 hours a night and I can't focus at work, my brain is just disconnected. I practice meditation instead, which gets me back to my regular schedule of 8 to 9 hours of sleep.

Should I have tried for more than 3 months?

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Adoree Durayappah is a graduate student at the UPENN Master of Positive Psychology Program. She works at the Hedonic Lab under Daniel Gilbert at Harvard University.


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