Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sleep Less and You'll Eat More

Anyone looking to change their body composition and lose body fat can't do it very easily without tackling sleep issues. No ifs ands or butts about it. Sleeping a minimum of 7 hours a night is #2 on my Golden Rules of Fat Loss.

You're not a hero because you can survive on less sleep. I know I keep repeating myself about the importance of sleep but it seems if we're going to cut corners in our wellness it's going to be around ZZZs. Here's a funny vid showing an activity that we could definitely get less of in order to get more sleep. It's cute too!

Scientists have been telling us for years that sleep deprivation is linked to weight gain. A study published in 2005 which looked at 8,000 adults over several years as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey determined that if you sleep less than 7 hours a night, you're at a significantly higher risk for weight gain. The less you sleep, the higher the risk.

And there's been more recent studies that say the same.

Another study published this year in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition took a small group of men and measured their food intake across two 48-hour periods. One group slept eight hours and the other group slept only four. The men who slept four hours ate an extra 500 extra calories about 22 percent more. Eating an extra 500 calories a day means you gain one pound a week or 52 pounds in one year.

A University of Chicago study last year had similar findings in both men and women. The sleep deprived group ate significantly more snacks and carbohydrates after five and a half hours of sleep.

Several studies have put the blame on hormones, arguing that decreased sleep creates a spike in ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite, and a reduction in leptin, which signals satiety. The jury is out but how much more information do we need. The obesity trend started to hit just as we started to sleep less, eat more processed foods and turned to low fat eating as a means to battle the bulge. And now we've got the iPad to potentially rob us of even more sleep.

Over and out and off to watch mindless television before shutting things down for the night.

Jane Clapp

No comments:

Post a Comment