Sleep Deprived? You're Also Getting Fatter

Insufficient beauty sleep can turn even the most devastatingly handsome individual into a tired and haggard zombie (especially before I get my morning coffee). In addition to giving you bleary eyes, it can also lead to an expanded waistline.

Paunch picture from Shutterstock

Researchers from the University of Colorado's Department of Integrative Physiology have found that insufficient sleep increases food intake in excess of energy needs. Participants who were on a maximum of five hours sleep per day saw their average daily energy expenditure increase by about five percent, which lead to overeating and weight gain. The change occurred after just five consecutive days of insufficient sleep.

"Participants overate despite changes in levels of the hormones leptin and ghrelin and peptide YY that signaled excess food intake," the report claimed.

Participants on minimal sleep were also more likely to indulge in after-dinner snacks rich in carbohydrates, protein, and fibre.

The study continued to monitor participants after they shifted to adequate sleeping patterns and found that they began to lose the weight gained during the experiment. So it appears the key to weight loss is plenty of good ol' shut-eye. As a parent with a newborn baby, this saddens me deeply.

If you're not getting enough sleep and want to stay trim, check out our ultimate guide to sleeping better.

Impact of insufficient sleep on total daily energy expenditure, food intake and weight gain [PNAS]


Comments

    On the other hand, now that we know we can take steps to not overeat when tired - knowing is half the battle, donchaknow.

    I must be the exception. I haven't slept more than 5 hours in many years, due to sleep apnoea which began in my teens. My weight fluctuates a couple of kilos up and down, but has remained reasonably steady for many years. I do walk 5-6km each day and this article doesn't mention exercise. Maybe that's it.

    Ohhhhkay let's stop right there.

    Researchers from the University of Colorado’s Department of Integrative Physiology have found that insufficient sleep increases food intake in excess of energy needs.

    So the increase in weight is NOT directly from the lack of sleep, it's from errrrr... INCREASED FOOD INTAKE.

    Last edited 13/03/13 12:49 pm

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