A new study adds to the evidence linking sleep duration with the risk of obesity. It finds that how long you sleep may affect how you eat.
The small study at the University of Chicago involved 11 healthy volunteers. Each participant stayed at a sleep laboratory two times for 14 days each time. During one stay they spent 8.5 hours in bed each night. During the other stay they spent only 5.5 hours in bed each night.
They had easy access to food during both stays in the lab. The study measured their intake of calories from meals and snacks.
Results show that they ate similar meals during both sleep conditions. But they consumed more calories from snacks when their sleep was restricted. Their snacks during sleep restriction also had a higher content of carbohydrates. Snacking increased the most between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.
This was similar to a previous study that linked sleep restriction to the levels of the appetite-regulating hormones leptin and ghrelin. Other studies also have linked sleep duration to obesity and diabetes.
What about you – do you snack more when you sleep less?