We all know we need our ‘beauty sleep’. Whether it’s to give us the strength and energy we need for the day ahead, or to recuperate from the day before. Getting a good night’s sleep can improve our physical health, lower our stress levels and improve our memory, as well as help us keep a clear mind and of course keep us in a much better, brighter mood than if we’re sleep deprived!

Beautiful young woman sleeping

So, it’s no surprise that doctors found that getting a good night’s sleep was also a key to losing weight. As featured on the Channel 4 show ‘How to Lose Weight Well’, Dr Michael Breus’s aptly named ‘Sleeping Beauty Diet’ claims that one of the most important factors in successfully losing weight is to get seven to nine hours sleep a night.

Psychologically, it has been proven that when we’re tried we want to eat more, and combined with all of the benefits of getting a good night’s sleep, it makes sense that sleeping for up to nine hours a night could definitely help you meet your weight loss goals if you were following a balanced diet and exercising regularly.

However, it has been reported that people are taking thIS ‘fad’ diet to new extremes, encouraging dieters to sleep for up to 20 hours a day using sleeping pills and sedatives. These dangerous ideas are reportedly being shared by women in pro-anorexia online forums as an extreme way to lose weight.

Doctors are warning against using sleeping pills and sedatives to follow the so-called extreme ‘Sleeping Beauty Diet’, as using drugs as aids to sleep in this way can be highly addictive. In addition, the potential for an overdose is high, meaning that these women are putting themselves in life-threatening situations to sleep their way slim.

Dr. Tracey Wade, a professor at the Flinders University School of Psychology, told Broadly, “”If people have to rely on medications to produce sleep – particularly [meds] like benzodiazepines, which are addictive – it’s putting the person at risk of addiction.”

“It’s not only getting the body to sleep more than it needs to; they’ll also have to use higher and higher dosage levels to get the desired effect.”

FROM: Woman & Home, our sister site