They call it the sleep diet or even the sleeping beauty diet, but this method seems anything but a fairy tale. But nutritionists and other health professionals warn of their risks.
The sleep diet to lose weight is no longer a recent method. It began a few decades ago and suggests long periods of sleep that, with the help of sedatives, can last for 20 hours, favoring caloric restriction. It was used and promoted by Elvis Presley, which helped her to become even more popular at the time.
The method is simple and may even help to lose weight, but it has many negative effects associated with dietary restriction and uncontrolled drug ingestion, experts warn.
“If people have to take sleep-inducing drugs, such as addictive benzodiazepines, they are putting themselves at risk for addiction”, said Tracey Wade, a professor at the School of Psychology at Flinders University in Australia. Broadly. “People [adhering to this method]will have to use increasing dosage levels to get the effect they want”, he added.
The university professor also recalls that this type of diet can cause problems of social isolation and mental health. “We know that depression also triggers disordered eating. This method will simply push people into a vicious cycle of food distress”, says the expert.
Ana Rita Lopes, nutritionist and head of the Nutrition Unit of the Hospital dos Lusíadas Lisboa, recalls that “the risks and benefits of a diet always depend on the type of diet in question and whether or not there is follow-up by a professional in the area of nutrition”.
A BRC Recovery of Austin nutritionist points out that “many of the fad diets are not nutritionally balanced”. On the other hand, “they are very ineffective in the long run because they do not promote the adoption of healthy eating habits”.