Sleeplessness itself might not cause obesity (although reduces the metabolism) but leads indirectly to overweight increasing hunger and therefore food intake. A study published in the American journal «Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences» (PNAS), researchers from the University of Colorado shows that lack of sleep can cause weight gain of 1 pound in a week.
Reason for this increase in body weight was snacking: the 16 volunteers who participated and only slept for 5 hours every night for a week, consuming far more calories between lunch and dinner. But when I began to sleep normally again, reduced the extra calories and lost a pound they have received.
These findings are worrying for millions of people, given that one in three adults sleeping systematically slightly (less than 6 hours), according to previous studies.
As written by the researchers who conducted the new study, during the week there was a lack of sleep the volunteers ate a small breakfast but by picking at night had too many snacks rich in carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
Put in your weight loss program … sleep
“I think that sleep per se leads to weight loss. Weight problems and obesity are much more complex than that. But the lack of sleep appears to contribute to obesity, “said lead researcher Dr. Ken Wright, associate professor in the Department of Endocrinology, Metabolism & Diabetes university.
“If you incorporate adequate sleep to weight loss programs and maintaining the new weight, I think it will help many people to gain a healthier weight,” he added. However noted that further studies are needed to confirm this theory.
Earlier studies have shown that lack of sleep slows metabolism, thereby using less energy in every body function – and even breathing. Lack of sleep is also believed to promote weight gain by stimulating hunger.
The source snacking binge
The 16 volunteers who participated in the new study were young, slim and healthy. For two weeks they lived in the Sleep Unit of the Hospital of the University of Colorado. The first three days were allowed to sleep for nine hours every night and ate calorie controlled in order to maintain their current weight. Then divided into two groups for five days, one slept only five hours a night and the other nine. During the five days allowed everyone access to plenty of food – meals and snacks – which included everything from fruit and yogurt to ice cream and potato chips. When finished in five days, the durations of sleep were reversed between the two groups.
On average, when the volunteers slept only five hours, 5% burned more calories, but ate 6% more, mainly because tsimpologousan afternoon. In fact, with an afternoon snack consumed far more calories than it does with every main meal.
The new findings also support the view that overeating in the evening and at night can contribute to weight gain.