Sleep restriction results in weight gain despite decreases in appetite and consumption

June 8, 2009

According to new research, in the presence of free access to food, sleep restricted subjects reported decrease in appetite, food cravings and food consumption; however, they gained weight over the course of the study. Thus, the finding suggests that energy intake exceeded energy expenditure during the sleep restriction

Results indicate that people whose sleep was restricted experienced an average weight gain of 1.31 kilograms over the 11 days of the study. Of the subjects with restricted sleep who reported a change in their appetite and food consumption, more than 70 percent said that it decreased by day 5 of the study. A group of well rested control subjects did not experience the weight gain.

According to lead investigator Siobhan Banks, PhD, a research fellow at the University of South Australia and former assistant research professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, it was surprising that participants did not crave foods rich in carbohydrates after sleep restriction, as previous research suggested they might. Results indicate that even though physiologically the desire to eat was not increased by sleep loss in participants, other factors such as the sedentary environment of the laboratory and the ability to snack for longer due to reduction in time spent asleep might have influenced the .

"During real-world periods of sleep restriction (say during shift work), people should plan their calorie intake over the time they will be awake, eating small, healthy meals," said Banks. "Additionally, healthy low fat/sugar snacks should be available so the temptation to eat comfort foods is reduced. Finally, keeping up regular exercise is just as important as what food you eat, so even though people may feel tried, exercising will help regulate energy intake balance."

The study involved 92 healthy individuals (52 male) between the ages of 22 and 45 years who participated in laboratory controlled sleep restriction. Subjects underwent two nights
of baseline sleep (10 hours in bed per night), five nights of sleep restriction and varying recovery for four nights. Nine well rested participants served as controls. was ad libitum (subjects had three regular meals per day and access to healthy snacks, and during nights of sleep restriction subjects were given a small sandwich at one a.m.).

Source: American Academy of Medicine (news : web)

Explore further: Sleep problems may affect a person's diet

Related Stories

Sleep problems may affect a person's diet

June 11, 2007

Sleep problems can influence a person’s diet. Those who don’t get enough sleep are less likely to cook their own meals and, instead, opt to eat fast food. It is the lack of nutritional value of this restaurant-prepared ...

Sleep restriction reduces heart rate variability

June 13, 2007

Chronic sleep restriction has a negative effect on a person's cardiac activity, which may elevate the risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality, according to a research abstract that will be presented Wednesday at SLEEP ...

Recommended for you

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...

Quantum Theory May Explain Wishful Thinking

April 14, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Humans don’t always make the most rational decisions. As studies have shown, even when logic and reasoning point in one direction, sometimes we chose the opposite route, motivated by personal bias or simply ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.