Weight Gain Can Cause Sleeping Problems
I read, recently, in a study out of the University of Colorado, that researchers found those who average only five hours of sleep, on a nightly basis, had weight gain of almost two pounds a week. It’s not believed that sleep loss is the direct cause, but that insufficient sleep can lead to changes that will trigger the weight gain.
“Just getting less sleep, by itself, is not going to lead to weight gain,” said Kenneth Wright, PhD, director of CU-Boulder’s Sleep and Chronobiology Laboratory in a press release. “But when people get insufficient sleep, it leads them to eat more than they actually need.
Researchers evaluated 16 healthy young adults for about two weeks in a University of Colorado Hospital “sleep suite” which is a controlled environment for monitoring and studying sleep.
After three days of sleeping approximately nine hours a night and consuming an average number of calories, they were split into two groups: One group continued with the nine hours or sleep, while the other reduced theirs to five. After five days, the groups switched their sleep schedules and were observed for another five days.
Although both groups had identical access to food, those who were sleeping only five hours a night were found to consume an average of six percent more calories. A great number of these calories came from snacking and the lighter sleepers consumed more of their calories snacking than at any single meal.
Sleep Restriction = Weight Gain
“When people are sleep-restricted, our findings show they eat during their biological nighttime when internal physiology is not designed to be taking in food,” said Wright.
This study shows that fewer hours of sleep seem to have a notable effect on eating habits and weight gain. It appears that self-awareness, an important quality to a healthy eater, is lessened with a lack of sleep. Proper diet and rest have been the mantra of many health professionals over the years. According to this research, healthy sleep habits deserve top billing, right up there, next to Smart food choices like Smartforlife®.