It’s cruel irony: researchers have discovered that one of the keys to losing pregnancy weight is for new mothers to get lots of sleep. But is there any time when more sleep seems less possible?
Published last year, a study of 940 women found that new moms who slept seven hours or more each day lost more baby weight than those who got five hours of sleep or less. A mere two-hour difference equaled an average weight retainment of 11 pounds.
“We’ve known for some time that sleep deprivation is associated with weight gain and obesity in the general population,” researcher Erica Gunderson told Reuters, “but this study shows that getting enough sleep may be as important as a healthy diet and exercise for new mothers to return to their pre-pregnancy weight.”
The next step for scientists? Figuring out how mothers of infants can actually get the sleep they need to lose the weight.
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