A recently published study shows that adults who suffer from chronic sleep restriction are more susceptible to gaining weight due to an increased calorie consumption during night hours. The study is one of the largest and most diverse study regarding healthy patients with bad sleeping habits and who suffer from sleep restrictions. According to the results, patients who slept for only 4 hours every night, for 5 consecutive nights experienced a higher weight gain than patients who slept for 10 hours every night.
Researchers report that the higher weight gain for the patients who were experiencing sleep restrictions is due to the fact that they had a higher calorie intake during the additional hours of wakefulness. Moreover, the calorie consumption derived from fat was higher during night hours, compared to that of day time meals. The author of the study, Andrea Spaeth, reports that although precedent studies have already shown that sleep deprivation is linked to weight gain, the results of her study show that even in laboratory conditions, the results were similar.
The study, set to be published in the July edition of the journal Sleep, was conducted in a laboratory from the University Hospital of Pennsylvania. Researchers examined a group of 225 healthy subjects, between the ages of 22 and 50, which were randomly assigned to one of two groups. The first group consisted of patients who were to be deprived of sleep, while the other group consisted of patients who received a normal amount of sleep. The study span over a period of 18 days.