Too little sleep during the night leads to a dull, drowsy feeling the next day, which most of us have experienced at some point in our lives. Many overweight people suffer from sleep deprivation due to breathing problems. However, it is not clear whether these people are overweight because of their sleep problems, or whether the disturbed sleep comes from their obesity. However, a recent study shed new light on this matter: Sleep deprivation stimulates appetite.
Here’s what the study found. Men who only sleep four hours tend to eat more calories the following day. This is also especially true for women. The study confirmed that women consumed up to 329 more calories after less sleep. Men, however, consumed only 263 more calories.
These new findings could explain the association between insufficient sleep and obesity, explained the lead investigator at the research institute at Columbia University.
Many overweight people suffer from sleep problems. It is not clear whether these people are overweight because of their sleep problems or whether the disturbed sleep is a result of their obesity. Researchers could now bring the answer to the “chicken or egg question.”
The study included 13 female and 13 male subjects aged 30 to 45 years. All were healthy with a normal weight. Each person was observed twice for six days in a sleep laboratory. In the first round, the subjects were allowed to sleep nine hours at a stretch, in the second round only four hours. When the subjects were able to choose their own food in the last two days, they attacked very often very fatty and protein-rich foods. “Ice cream was one of their favorites,” researchers confirmed. Both men and women ate high-protein meals, but only the women resorted to more fat.
Over a longer period, the lack of restraint to eating can have harmful consequences. An additional 300 calories each day can lead to a weight gain of up to 30 pounds in one year. This increases the risk of heart problems, diabetes and other chronic diseases. Overall, adequate sleep is certainly important for better health.