We’re not sleeping as much as we used to. More than a third of adults report sleeping less than 7 hours a night. And that’s a fairly new development. We’re sleeping significantly less than we were 20 or 30 years ago. It’s not hard to imagine why…due to light, our gadgets, noise in the neighborhood, stress, people working two jobs, etc., the list of reasons goes on and on. The consequences of not getting enough sleep can affect our health, starting with our waistlines. Studies have consistently associated insufficient sleep with an increased risk of obesity.

Why? It’s simple, we’re eating more. In the largest study done so far, about 200 people were sleep deprived in a laboratory for 5 nights, to simulate a sleep-restricted workweek. They were allowed only 4 hours in bed each night, and they had unlimited access to food in the lab kitchen. After the 5 days, the sleep restricted subjects gained about 2 pounds while the control group, which was allowed to sleep for up to 10 hours a night, gained virtually no weight. And it wasn’t because they ate more than the control group at breakfast or lunch. They ate more only at night, when the control group was asleep. Go To Bed!


Reprinted with permission by NutritionAction.com, Center for Science and Public Interest.

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