It turns out that when you fail to get enough sleep, you are likely to consume more calories the next day.
The study was published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition by researchers from London King’s College, and it involved a comprehensive analysis of 11 different studies involving 172 participants. The purpose of the study was to compare how sleep deprivation, or the lack of it, affected calorie consumption over the next 24 hours.
The rest deprived individuals in the study spent between three and a half hours and five hours in bed, while the control group spent between 7 and 12 hours in bed.
On average, people who did not get enough sleep ended up consuming 385 more calories than normal. The researchers were also curious as to how sleep deprivation affected energy consumption, which would help put this startling finding into perspective.
However, the research into this question showed that sleep did not result in increased energy consumption, which meant one thing—sleep-deprived people basically added 385 calories to their diet. Actually, a closer look into the diet choices of sleep deprived people indicated that they also consumed foods that were less healthy.
In particular, it was found that sleep-deprived people consumed more fats and less protein. Their carbohydrate consumption did not change. That meant that these people thwarted their weight loss benefits in two ways.
Firstly, consuming more calories results in more weight gain. Secondly, lack of proper nutrient results in reduced health. In fact, studies have shown that nutrient imbalance causes obesity. The results would be even more significant if the sleep deprivation happened over a long period of time.
Weight loss expert Kelly Lodlois, known for the promo codes of clinically studied weight management programs that she offers to her blog readers, says: “Sleep deprivation has been shown in previous studies to increase hunger in a similar way to marijuana. Now we know that we can assist our weight loss efforts not only through diet and exercise by also through sufficient sleep.”
Fortunately, this study helps prove that one of the most controllable obesity risk factors may be a serious contributor to cases of obesity present in the world today. That means that people can lower their obesity risk and even lower their weight by simply adhering to a healthy sleep schedule.
Still, the researchers realize that further research will be necessary to determine the health implication of sleep with regard to weight. In particular, they sought to bring attention to the fact that studies were needed to determine how extending sleep affected calorie consumption, and by extension, obesity risk.
Additionally, it will still be necessary to determine exactly how the disruption of the internal body clock affected the hormones that dictate food consumption. These hormones are leptin, which is the “satiety” hormone, and ghrelin, which makes us feel hungry.
Co-authored by Dr. Matthew:
A medical researcher, biologist, and published scientist, Dr. Matthew is passionate about helping people improve their quality of life by providing them with the knowledge and tools that guarantee health and wellness.