It’s said that if you sleep a lot, you put on weight. While ‘sleeping a lot’ is not recommended, it may serve weight watchers if they ensure that they get proper sleep. Recent findings indicate that sleep loss has undesirable effects on the number of calories we consume and also how much energy we burn.
Several studies have established the connection between the duration of sleep and obesity [and also type-2 diabetes]. They all conclude that insufficient sleep increases the risk for both diseases.
Researchers from the German Universities Tubingen and Lubeck and Uppsala University in Sweden too investigated the effect of short term sleep deprivation on hunger, physical activity and energy used by the body.
They found that the sleep deprived had more “hunger hormone” in their blood, which led them to feel hungry. The lesser a person slept, the hungrier she was found to be. Just one night of disturbed sleep also affects our activity levels—we don’t move about much the next day, as we feel more tired.
Staying awake for the whole night affects us even more. It reduces the amount of energy the body uses when resting. The research suggests that being sleep deprived increases our likelihood of consuming more calories as get hungrier than usual. This alone might cause us to gain weight over time. In addition, sleep loss also prevents us from burn calories, which adds to the risk of gaining weight.
Ongoing studies aim to find out if increasing sleep time might help control weight. But for now, the weight-conscious can at least prevent further damage to their efforts by ensuring they get enough sleep every night.