Road Bump: Rest and Sleep

Speed BumpSpeed Bump

Rest and sleep and two keys to weight loss success.

“Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise”.

Ben Franklin

So should you walk up at 5 am and go out for a run?  Ben Franklin said that “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise”.  In the Military, early morning fitness is the norm, but is it the right thing to do?  

Sleeping Child
Sleeping Child


  1. Obesity and BMI:  One research study shows the relation between poor sleep and obesity​[1]​,​[2]​.  Because sleep duration is a potentially modifiable risk factor, these findings might have important clinical implications for the prevention and treatment of obesity. The relationship does not indicate a causative relationship.  More studies are needed.  Another study among Chilean nutrition students found an association between fewer hours of sleep and higher body mass in this population; this should be considered in excess weight prevention​[3]​.
  2. Calorie Intake:  A study in Quebec found that subjects that slept 5-6 hours or less were more likely to experience weight gain.  The study also found the same to be true for those that step too many hours (9-10 hours or more)​[4]​.  It is clear that there are metabolic ramifications to both poor and excess sleep​[5]​.   Another study shows sleeping less was associated with excess weight or obesity and suggest that restricting sleep may lead to weight gain via increased food intake​[6]​.
  3. Weight Gain:  A study in the American Journal of Epidemiology showed women who slept seven or more hours a night were less likely to put on weight than women who didn’t​[7]​.  Those who slept only 5 hours a night were 15 percent more likely to gain substantial weight.

The bottom line: What is clear is that loss of sleep no only effects out ability to perform, but it also like effects metabolism and results in weight gain.  If you like to talk an early morning run at 5 am, I recommend that you go to sleep at 9-10 p.m. Don’t sacrifice your rest and for exercise.  Quality matters more than quantity, so taking a nap may not help.  Good restorative sleep will help. The bed should be for sleep and sex and that is all.


  1. [1]
    T. Crönlein, “Insomnia and obesity,” Current Opinion in Psychiatry, pp. 409–412, Nov. 2016, doi: 10.1097/yco.0000000000000284. [Online]. Available:
  2. [2]
    G. Hasler et al., “The association between short sleep duration and obesity in young adults: a 13-year prospective study.,” Sleep, vol. 27, no. 4, pp. 661–6, Jun. 2004, doi: 10.1093/sleep/27.4.661. [Online]. Available:
  3. [3]
    S. Durán-Agüero et al., “[Fewer hours of sleep associated with increased body weight in chilean university nutrition students].,” Rev Peru Med Exp Salud Publica, vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 264–8, Jun. 2016 [Online]. Available:
  4. [4]
    J. Chaput, J. Després, C. Bouchard, and A. Tremblay, “The association between sleep duration and weight gain in adults: a 6-year prospective study from the Quebec Family Study.,” Sleep, vol. 31, no. 4, pp. 517–23, Apr. 2008, doi: 10.1093/sleep/31.4.517. [Online]. Available:
  5. [5]
    S. Schmid, M. Hallschmid, and B. Schultes, “The metabolic burden of sleep loss.,” Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 52–62, Jan. 2015, doi: 10.1016/S2213-8587(14)70012-9. [Online]. Available:
  6. [6]
    M. St-Onge, “The role of sleep duration in the regulation of energy balance: effects on energy intakes and expenditure.,” J Clin Sleep Med, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 73–80, Jan. 2013, doi: 10.5664/jcsm.2348. [Online]. Available:
  7. [7]
    S. Patel, A. Malhotra, D. White, D. Gottlieb, and F. Hu, “Association between reduced sleep and weight gain in women.,” Am J Epidemiol, vol. 164, no. 10, pp. 947–54, Nov. 2006, doi: 10.1093/aje/kwj280. [Online]. Available:
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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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