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Less sleep could be a weight gain culprit

health and fitness Updated: May 18, 2011 10:57 IST
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Sleep deprivation not only makes the day drag, but also lowers your metabolic rate causing the body to use less energy, according to a European study. Moreover, another study adds that sleep loss even promotes weight gain — not just by boosting hunger, but also by slowing the rate at which calories are burned.

The study conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, also suggests that getting plenty sleep might even prevent weight gain. Christian Benedict of Uppsala University, Sweden, who led the study says,


“Our findings show that one night of sleep deprivation acutely reduces energy expenditure in healthy men, which suggests sleep contributes to the acute regulation of daytime energy expenditure in humans.”

Previous studies conducted on the relationship between sleep deprivation and weight gain have also revealed how disrupted sleep also disrupts levels of stress and hunger-related hormones during waking hours.

They found that even a single night of missed sleep slowed metabolism the next morning, reducing energy expenditure for tasks like breathing and digestion by five percent to 20 percent, compared with the morning after a good night’s sleep. The young men also had higher morning levels of blood sugar, appetite-regulating hormones like ghrelin, and stress hormones like cortisol after sleep loss. Still, the sleep loss did not boost the amount of food the men consumed during the day.

Experts said that factors such as lifestyle and diet might add to obesity risks and that it was not clear that sleep deprivation led to

obesity. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get about seven to nine hours of sleep each night.