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Too Little Sleep Plus Binging Leads to Weight Gain

A new study reveals that lack of sleep leads to overeating of snacks after dinner, which has more calories than any single meal, thereby leading to weight gain. The study is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

According to Kenneth Wright, director at the University of Colorado, extra sleep per se will not lead to loss of weight and that weight gain and obesity problems are much more complex than that.  Wright and colleagues monitored 16 male and female adults who were young, lean and healthy.  The participants lived for about two weeks at the sleep suite of the University of Colorado Hospital.

The participants slept for nine hours for the first three days and were given meals that had sufficient calories to maintain their weights.  They were then split into two groups for the next five days period. The first group’s sleep was limited to five hours a night and the other group continued to enjoy a nine-hour sleep.  Both groups were offered larger meals and had access to healthy and unhealthy snacks throughout the day. The groups were switched after the five-day period.

Researchers found that those who slept for maximum of five hours burned more energy by 5% versus those who were able to sleep for nine hours.  However, the calories they consumed were 6% more. Furthermore, the men gained some weight despite the having enough sleep, while the women maintained their weight. Both men and women gained weight when they had insufficient hours of sleep.

Researchers said that the finding adds to growing evidence on possible weight gain attributable to overeating at night.


HealthDay News. Full Pantry Plus Too Little Sleep Is Recipe for Weight Gain.

Posted in: News Briefs, Sleep, Sleep Deprivation, Weight Gain

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