Losing sleep at night? Now you have an even better reason to make sure you schedule enough time at night to count sheep!
Studies Suggest That Sleep Deprivation May Cause Weight Gain
Over the past few years, researchers around the globe have found convincing links between sleep deprivation and weight gain.
One study conducted at the New York Obesity Research Center involved 30 men and women of roughly normal weight. The participants were had one five-night period where they were allowed to sleep 9 hours nightly. On a separate five-night visit, they were only allowed to sleep 4 hours nightly. The participants were found to burn the same number of calories regardless of their sleep duration. On the other hand, when sleep-deprived, the participants ate 300 calories more daily than when well-rested. The researchers note that this excess intake, if extrapolated over months and years, might easily result in significant weight gain in the sleep-deprived population.
A separate study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, by researchers in Sweden found that decreased metabolism with just a single night’s sleep deprivation.
Other scientists have identified convincing historical data which reveals an inverse relationship between obesity rates and average sleep time, with the highest obesity percentages found in adults getting the least amount of sleep. According to Sanjay Patel, MD, an assistant professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, “Sleep deprivation has important effects on a patient’s health, so clinicians should really ask their patients about their sleep habits… Getting a good’s night sleep has already been shown to have effects on diabetes and heart disease and now we see it affects weight as well.”
The optimal amount of sleep for adults recommended by The National Sleep Foundation is seven to nine hours every night.