New Study Shows Sleep Deprivation & Weight Gain are Related
Want to lose a few pounds? Get some more shut-eye.
That’s the conclusion yet another study showing that people who sleep less are likely to see a higher number on the scale.
The Mayo Clinic studied 17 healthy volunteers between 18 and 40 for a week in their homes, monitoring how much they slept and ate. Then the volunteers were taken into the clinic’s research lab for eight days. Half of the volunteers were allowed to sleep according to their usual pattern and half were only allowed to sleep only two-thirds as long.
The volunteers were allowed to eat as much as they wanted from the hospital cafeteria or from outside the research center, and researchers measured the amount of energy they expended daily. Sleep deprived volunteers ate 549 calories more than usual, but they exercised no more than the others.
In addition, volunteers who slept less had higher levels of leptin, a hormone that suppresses appetite, and lower levels of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite, in their blood. Dr. Andrew Calvin, lead author of study and assistant professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic, said that finding seemed counterintuitive, but the hormones were likely an outcome rather than a cause of people eating more.
In previous studies, scientists found that adolescents that went to bed earlier were likely to be slimmer, and that workers that covered late and overnight shifts were more likely to be obese and have type 2 diabetes, which may be associated with unhealthy eating habits.
These findings are very important not only because of the epidemic of obesity, but because one-quarter of Americans get six hours of sleep or less every night. Getting too little sleep is a health problem on its own – combined with obesity, it’s compounding the problem.
So do yourself – and your figure – a favor. Get to bed earlier to help maintain a healthy weight, and to feel more rested and ready for life!