Get more sleep to lose weight or get up early to work out? And other health dilemmas for women

I ran across this semi-interesting slide show of women’s health dilemmas on The Huffington Post’s Health page. The best questions are below but click the link to see more.

Are you better to get enough sleep to help you lose weight or would that time be better spent in the gym?

“The advice: Sam Sugar, MD, says this comes up all the time at the Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa, where he’s the director of sleep services, and where twice-daily exercise is part of the program. Sugar points out that the scientific literature is extremely clear about the dangers of sleep loss. “Even one night of short-changed sleep can be bad for your health,” he says, and excessive sleeplessness can result in increases in blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar — as well as weight gain. Missing one or even two workouts doesn’t have the same magnitude of negative effects. At the minimum, Sugar recommends getting six and a half to eight hours of sleep every night, while squeezing in exercise at least three times a week.”

Stay out of the sun to protect your skin or get sun for Vitamin D:

“The advice: For your body to make enough vitamin D using the sun alone, you’d need strong, direct sunlight on most of your bare skin for at least 15 minutes. That’s not worth the risk of UV damage and skin cancer, says Ellen Marmur, MD, vice chair of cosmetic and dermatologic surgery at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, especially since melanoma has more than doubled among women in the past 30 years. Even when you carefully protect your skin from the sun, you’ll still most likely absorb UV rays through your scalp, or from the light that gets reflected from the ground and finds its way under your sun hat or beach umbrella. If you’re concerned about your vitamin D levels, Marmur recommends asking your doctor for a blood test and making up for deficits by consuming more swordfish, salmon, vitamin D-fortified milk or OJ, and by taking supplements.”

19 comments Add your comment


December 13th, 2012
1:09 pm

Nobody gets enough sleep, but only because there not an app for it. Nobody eats right either, but only because the kitchen impossible guy can only be in one restaurant at a time.


December 13th, 2012
1:19 pm

I truly do not understand why women continue to fall for crap about diet, weight, etc. It really is a sad commentary that so many women believe and fork over money over and over and over and over again for something that is so basic.

Eat less than you burn.

If you exercise regularly, you WILL get more sleep.


December 13th, 2012
1:27 pm

Nope, I get plenty of sleep 7-8 hours a night.

Get plenty of exercise and fresh air. Walk the dog at least a mile, almost every day. Work in the yard, etc. Rake leaves, don’t blow them.

We eat very healthy. Fresh or frozen. Very seldom do we go out to eat.

I limit my sugars….no sodas, I do drink a ton of water and hot tea (no sugar). I stay away from artifical sweetners, fat free, or reduced fat foods.

I also limit my alcohol. Usually 1-2 glasses of wine per night, and beer on sundays while watching football!

I’m in my early 50’s and have no health problems at all, other than a little high blood pressure, but I take a pill for that. And a multi-vitamin every day.


December 13th, 2012
2:01 pm

I don’t understand either Jeff. I’ve never been one for fad diets, etc.

Eat right, exercise, burn off more than you take in.

Most of all ENJOY LIFE!!!


December 13th, 2012
2:38 pm

@Mayhem if limiting your alcohol still means a glass or two of wine a night and a beer on Sundays, you’re my kind of person! Personally, I exercise so I can eat and drink without being overly worried about my weight.

I have to agree that sleep is more important than tons of exercise. I try to get to bed by 11:30, up at 7:15, walk 3-4 miles and then start my day. It helps that I have a walking buddy and I work from home so I don’t have to get up and get out the door to sit in traffic.

As for the sun, well, I don’t go out in it b/c I want to get vitamin D or hide b/c I’m afraid of skin cancer. I love being outside and sunny weather makes me feel better mentally. As in all things – balance!

Speaking of sitting in the sun too much though- whatever happened to the woman who was accused of taking her young daughter in the tanning salon? Wonder if she’s been diagnosed with skin cancer yet.


December 13th, 2012
2:44 pm

@Techmom – I’ll drink to that LOL…..


December 13th, 2012
2:48 pm

Appears as though I left half of a thought off…
I have to agree that sleep is more important than tons of exercise. And even though I do try to get up and walk and I cycle when the weather is good, if I don’t get enough sleep, I will happily skip exercise for sleep.


December 13th, 2012
3:36 pm

Everything in moderation.. except for sleep. lol Gotta have sleep….

And I am with Jeff. I don’t fall for “new fad” diets becuase they end up being just that, fads, and then they come up with something else.

It’s common sense. Eat healthy most of the time, but only in a serving amount the size of the inside of your palm, and everything else in moderation. You can have one, maybe two of those Christmas cookies, but eating the whole dozen is gonna cause a problem.


December 13th, 2012
3:53 pm

Am I the only one who found it funny that the health advice came from Dr. Sugar?

who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men

December 13th, 2012
6:32 pm

The only reason someone can’t get 6 1/2 hours of sleep a night AND get in a 45 minute workout 7 days a week is because they don’t have the will to do it. Hit the sack at 10:15 and wake up at 5:00 to get it over with. it’s not that hard and you meet all the suggestions the doc makes. But I can hear the excuses now…

“I’m not waking up at 5:00″
“I can’t function on less than 7 hours of sleep”

yadda yadda yadda….excuses.

Alex H Personal Trainer

December 13th, 2012
8:29 pm

Actually, sleep is one of the components but like everything in life – reality is a bit more complicated.
Neatbodies explain the concept well in their belly fat book, basically it has to do with the link of GH (which breaks fat) to melatonin which is produced in sleep. Worth checking out


December 13th, 2012
11:03 pm

Um…no, it really isn’t that complicated. Sleep, eat well (mostly), treat yourself (sometimes), have a good group of friends, and exercise. Fat is fat; cardio and weight training for women!

[...] Get more sleep to drop weight or get up early to function out? And other well being … “The guidance: Sam Sugar, MD, says this comes up all the time at the Pritikin Longevity Center &amp Spa, where he&#39s the director of sleep solutions, and where twice-daily physical exercise is portion of the plan. Sugar factors out that the scientific literature is … Read far more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (website) [...]


December 14th, 2012
8:48 am

@ Techmom, I googled the tan woman (Patricia Krentcil) as of Aug she had been in a “Bizzared Drunken Outing” and was embarassing her husband. Per another post ( she is making her Howard Stern Debut…..The way I read this she took her 15 min of fame and decided to give Lindsey Lohan’s life a try.


December 14th, 2012
11:23 am

I agree with the other posters. However, sleep comes hard for me some nights or I wake up & can’t go back to sleep. Also, there’s this problem of hot flashes & night sweats. :-)

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Olivia Green

December 18th, 2012
5:10 am

I’ve never been a huge fan of these “lose weight quickly” type articles. The problem with most of the methods is that, most people end up putting the weight straight back on.

If you want to lose weight permanently, then visit: Thanks to the great diet plans and workout routines, I’m currently in the best shape of my life and look great. Furthermore, the weight is staying off!

However, remember there are no shortcuts or magical secrets to a great body – it’s simply a result of hard-work and not giving up!