Nov 8, 2016,

Sleep Deprivation May Increase Calorie Intake

If your lifestyle always leaves you feeling deprived, you may end up consuming more calories, with the risk of unwanted weight gain, according to a UK study.

A study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who don't get enough sleep consumed an extra 385 calories the following day.

The findings are based on research by King's College London (KCL) who reviewed 11 older studies with a total of 172 participants. All the studies they looked at compared people who didn't get enough sleep and those who did and also looked at what they ate afterwards.

Fatty Foods

Unlike the 'midnight munchies', the team didn't find that sleep deprived people necessarily ate more. Instead they found that their choice of food the next day was sometimes different to those who had a healthy amount of sleep.

This meant they tended to opt for food that was higher in fat and lower in protein. They didn't see any change in the amount of carbohydrates they ate.

The result of this change led to an increase in calorie intake because people in the studies didn't use up any more energy, regardless of their sleep habits.

Weight Gain

Lead author Gerda Pot from the Diabetes and Nutritional Sciences Division at KCL says in a statement: "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'."

The researchers say that continual sleep deprivation followed by increased calorie intake could lead to sustained weight gain over the long term.

"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," says Gerda Pot.

The authors say most of the studies they reviewed took place in laboratory conditions and they would like to see whether their findings about sleep deprivation and weight gain are applicable to people in everyday life.

Snack Foods

Catherine Collins, a registered dietitian who reviews articles for BootsWebMD, says the extra calories will almost certainly come from snack foods. "It will be biscuits, it will be cakes, it will be crisps and savoury snacks that tend to be lower in protein but have more fat – and probably more calories in proportion as well," she tells us.

She says this is the first review that quantifies the calorific effect from poor sleep. "That is quite a substantial part of your 2,000 calories a day, which is why people are overeating. Three-hundred-and-eighty-five calories – put it in perspective, that's like 2 packets of crisps, or it's a decent sized bar of chocolate. There's more than one snack there.

Share on twitter
By SOTOMIWA SOTUBO (ID: DOC864)       Comments       Rating: