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Health Research

November 19, 2007

Kaiser Permanente/Harvard Medical School Study Links Lack of Sleep to Weight Gain for New Moms

Mothers who reported sleeping five hours or less per day when their babies were six months old had a threefold higher risk for substantial weight retention at their baby’s first birthday than moms who slept seven hours per day, according to a new study by Kaiser Permanente and Harvard Medical School / Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.

The study, published in the November issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology, is the first to look at the impact of sleep deprivation on postpartum weight retention.

The study also found that mothers who slept fewer hours at one year postpartum than they did at six months postpartum had twice the risk of substantial weight retention. Other studies have shown that persistent sleep deprivation causes hormonal changes that may stimulate appetite.  Shorter sleep duration not only has been linked to obesity in women, but coronary artery disease and diabetes as well.

For more, read the news release.