Who doesn’t want a slim and trim waist? Everyone does. This might come as a shocker, but this new research says that too little sleep can contribute to a large waistline. For the experiment research included 11 studies with a total of 172 participants. The participants who were sleep deprived consumed an average of 385 more calories a day. That’s almost equal to the calories in about four and a half slices of bread.
People who slept less had higher fat and lower protein intake than those who got enough sleep, but both groups had similar carbohydrate intake. Sleep deprivation can actually have a major effect on how many calories people actually burn.
“The main cause of obesity is an imbalance between calorie intake and expenditure and this study adds to accumulating evidence that sleep deprivation could contribute to this imbalance. So there may be some truth in the saying ‘early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy and wise,” said senior study author Gerda Pot. She’s with the diabetes & nutritional sciences division at King’s College London and Vrije University in Amsterdam.
If sleep deprivation lasts long-term, an extra 385 calories a day would likely contribute to weight gain, Pot added. “Reduced sleep is one of the most common and potentially modifiable health risks in today’s society in which chronic sleep loss is becoming more common. More research is needed to investigate the importance of long-term, partial sleep deprivation as a risk factor for obesity and whether sleep extension could play a role in obesity prevention,” Pot concluded.
A previous study found that partial sleep deprivation led to greater activation of brain areas associated with reward when people were exposed to food.