Can lack of sleep make you fat? Show Notes

Thursday, March 21, 2013 Host(s): Dr. Bill Maier
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Could lack of sleep make you fat?  Another new study has come out on sleep deprivation, and this one targets our waistlines. 

The London Daily Mail reports on the new research, which was conducted at the University of Colorado at Boulder.  Scientists found that people who slept for five hours each night gained an average of two pounds of weight over a one week period.  That’s because they snacked more.  

They consumed more calories in after-dinner snacks than in any other meal.

But when the volunteers had enough sleep, they cut back on fatty foods and carbohydrates and the pounds came off.

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, the US Centers for Disease Control says that one in three Americans don’t get enough sleep each night. 

Commenting on the new research, Professor Ken Wright at the University of Colorado, says “I don't think extra sleep by itself is going to lead to weight loss.  Problems with weight gain and obesity are much more complex than that. But I think it could help.”

Professor Wright believes if healthy sleep habits are incorporated into weight loss programs, it may help people lose more weight. 

By the way, another study discovered a lack of sleep can drastically slow down our metabolism.  That causes our body to use less energy for simple things like breathing and eating.

So a lack of sleep may lead to weight gain in two ways: boosting hunger and slowing the rate at which calories are burned.

Also, as I mentioned in an earlier report, a number of studies have observed people who sleep five hours or less are more prone to weight gain and weight-related diseases such as type-2 diabetes.

I’m Bill Maier for WBCL.

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