There are always new diets percolating, and one you might have heard about recently is the so-called “Sleeping Beauty Diet.” But don’t let the name fool you: It’s anything but a fairy tale.
The diet promotes taking sedatives when you’re hungry to avoid eating – meaning that you’re sleeping at various times throughout the day instead. Doing so could be addictive and dangerous, explains nutrition communications consultant Andrea Giancoli from Hermosa Beach, California. “This is essentially reckless behavior,” she says.
Sleeping too much can have negative effects – including ironically both weight gain and obesity. Giancoli, a registered dietitian and expert in nutrition policy and vegetarian and fad diets, says this diet is something not grounded in science and is completely impractical.
“How are you supposed to sleep and hold a job if every time you’re hungry you’re going to take a sedative just to sleep?” Giancoli says. She also questions how you’d have time to exercise, which must be a part of any lifestyle and weight management program. The “diet” doesn’t mention anything about healthy eating. Giancoli labels it as both “hogwash” and “preposterous.”
Giancoli explains there’s something to be said for the connection between sleep and a healthy body weight. Both oversleeping and not getting enough sleep have actually been linked to weight gain.
A lack of sleep is linked to gaining weight primarily because it can affect the ghrelin (appetite) and leptin (the one that helps you stop eating) hormones. Ghrelin levels tend to increase when you don’t sleep enough, as leptin levels decrease. And then practically: If you’re awake more often you have more opportunities to eat.
As for too much sleep and its connection to obesity, Dr. Alon Avidan, the director of the University of California Los Angeles Sleep Disorders Center, recently told Time that sleep deprivation alters your hormone levels and increases both appetite and blood sugar.
Giancoli says that the Sleeping Beauty Diet is the most concerning one she’s heard about lately, but that people should avoid any diet that restricts a particular food group, tells you that you don’t need to exercise and promises a quick weight loss. The same goes for diets that tell you to take pills or supplements that are supposed to speed up your metabolism.
Source: Huffington Post