Friday, March 8, 2013

One night of complete sleep loss can affect eating behavior

Here is another study about eating and sleep. Researchers continue to try to blame sleep loss on the obesity epidemic, and I continue to be skeptical. Sleep loss may be a small factor, but eating habits and lack of exercise are much bigger contributors. In this study, researchers took healthy young men and monitored their eating habits after a normal night of sleep and then after staying up entirely for a single night. The results showed that the men who were sleep deprived tended to eat greater proportions of energy dense snacks. Their meal portions were the same. The authors conclude that total sleep deprivation can increase food intake, especially energy dense food. This may be true, but it's a long stretch to say this is responsible for obesity. These were non-obese men with only one night of sleep deprivation. We need larger studies in people who are chronically, but partially sleep deprived. This study of only one night of total sleep deprivation does not add much to the discussion of sleep deprivation and obesity.

Should you get enough sleep? Of course. Is more sleep going to help you lose weight? Only if you change what you eat and exercise.

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