A recent study put out by the Mayo Clinic suggests that the less sleep you get, the more you eat and, therefore, the fatter you get. To test their theory, researchers took 17 healthy people and split them in two groups. Over a period of eight nights, half of the subjects were allowed to sleep normally, while the other half got an hour and 20 minutes less. Then their food intake was monitored throughout the day.
The researchers found that the group that got less sleep ate an average of 549 more calories per day than the group that slept well. One investigator noted that, “Sleep deprivation is a growing problem, with 28% of adults now reporting that they get six or fewer hours of sleep per night.”
Virend Somers, study author and professor of medicine and cardiovascular disease at the Mayo Clinic, said of the study that, “We tested whether lack of sleep altered the levels of the hormones leptin and ghrelin [which are associated with appetite], increased the amount of food people ate and affected energy burned through activity.”
Co-investigator Andrew D. Calvin, cardiology fellow and assistant professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic, also commented that, “Sleep deprivation is a growing problem, with 28 per cent of adults now reporting that they get six or fewer hours of sleep per night.” The researchers went on to caution that this was a very small study conducted at a hospital.
While their findings do suggest a correlation between sleep deprivation and weight gain and obesity, Calvin suggested that, “Larger studies of people in their home environments would help confirm our findings.”
Do you think that sleep deprivation is to blame for obesity in the United States?
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