Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Study: Sleep-starved nights may fuel binge eating

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found healthy young men tended to take in an extra Big Mac worth of calories after a sleep-deprived night.

It’s the latest study to link sleep to unhealthy eating patterns and obesity.

Researchers in France allowed a dozen study participants to eat whatever they wanted over two sleep-regulated 48-hour periods.

The first session, the group of men went to bed at midnight and woke up at 8 a.m. both days. The next time around, they were limited to only four hours of sleep on the second day.

On average, the participants consumed 22 percent more calories when they did not get a full night of sleep. The extra eating happened during breakfast and dinner.

The scientists who carried out the study told Reuters Health the findings make it clear that getting an adequate amount of sleep is essential for energy conservation and not just the recovery process.

There are various ways skimping on sleep is linked to bulging bellies. Another study found people tend to exercise less and are less active overall when they don’t sleep.

Short sleep may also cause you to hunger for high-calorie, high-carb foods.

Learn more about sleep and weight gain.

Image by Fatima Alameri

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