Tuesday, April 13, 2010

You Snooze You Lose...Weight, That Is

Source: Medline Plus (Summary by NIM)

Ever notice that when you're super tired you tend to feel hungrier? Maybe it's not true hunger, but eating food somehow seems to hit the spot those days. Turns out you're not alone - researchers have found that sleep deprivation causes people to eat more - a lot more - in some cases as much as a big Mac's worth of calories.

In the study, 12 healthy young men slept for 4 hours 2 nights and 8 hours the next 2 nights with a control period in between. They were allowed to eat as much as they liked each day. When the men slept for a shorter amount of time, they ate 22% more calories, on average, than when they slept longer. This translates to about 560 more calories per day following a shorter night's sleep.

It seems we all tend to be overworked these days, sleeping less than ever before, but also eating far more. According to the paper published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, "sleep restriction could be one of the environmental factors that contribute to the obesity epidemic,".

Find out more about this study by reading the article called "People get hungrier when they're starved for sleep" from Medline Plus (Apr. 9, 2010).