According to Reuters News, the results of a small study make a common-sense claim: Lack of sleep leads to lack of exercise, which leads to weight gain.
Several studies have found that people who are not sleeping enough tend to gain weight. But a connection was never explained fully.
Last year, the Sleep Education Blog reported that sleep deprivation causes changes in hormones that regulate your appetite. This could eventually lead to weight gain.
The results of this study may point to a simpler explanation.
The study took place in Germany. It involved 15 healthy men who were of normal weight. Participants were observed for four nights in a sleep lab. On two of the nights, the men slept for eight hours. For the other two, they were only allowed to sleep for four hours. During the following days, the men wore wrist devices to track their movement.
On the days following sleep deprivation, the participants’ activity levels fell. After getting eight hours of sleep, the men spent 25 percent of their time awake doing high-intensity exercise. After four hours of sleep, the amount of time spent doing these activities fell to 22 percent.
The men did not report feeling more hungry, and they did not eat more after the nights of sleep deprivation. No changes in blood levels or appetite-regulating hormones were found.
The authors of the study note that their findings do not eliminate a potential link between hunger, appetite-regulating hormones and chronic sleep deprivation. But they do indicate that even a small amount of sleep loss can reduce physical activity. Over time, if you don’t exercise you might begin to put on weight.
Visit Sleep Education.com to learn more about the link between sleep and weight.
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