Sleep deprivation is a terrible thing, with many annoying consequences – one of which is excessive amounts of eating.
Yes, as if tiredness wasn’t sufferance enough, it’s also making you fat.
According to a study by King’s College London, a bad night’s sleep may cause you to consume more calories during the following day.
Researchers combined the findings of many previous studies to conclude that sleep-deprived people consumed an average of 385 calories per day extra – equivalent to about four-and-a-half slices of bread.
Researchers combined the results of 11 studies with a total of 172 participants, and published the results in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition,
Dr Gerda Pot, senior author from the Diabetes & Nutritional Sciences Division at King’s College London and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, said: “The main cause of obesity is an imbalance between calorie intake and expenditure and this study adds to accumulating evidence that sleep deprivation could contribute to this imbalance.
“So there may be some truth in the saying ‘early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy and wise’.
“This study found that partial sleep deprivation resulted in a large net increased energy intake of 385 kcal per day. If long-term sleep deprivation continues to result in an increased calorie intake of this magnitude, it may contribute to weight gain.
“Reduced sleep is one of the most common and potentially modifiable health risks in today’s society in which chronic sleep loss is becoming more common. More research is needed to investigate the importance of long-term, partial sleep deprivation as a risk factor for obesity and whether sleep extension could play a role in obesity prevention.”
Haya Al Khatib, lead author and PhD candidate at King’s College London, said: “Our results highlight sleep as a potential third factor, in addition to diet and exercise, to target weight gain more effectively.
“We are currently conducting a randomised controlled trial in habitually short sleepers to explore the effects of sleep extension on indicators of weight gain.”
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