Snacking and Not Sleeping

Researchers have determined that not getting enough sleep causes people to over indulge in snacks. More from WebMD:
The study involved 11 healthy men and women who agreed to enter the sleep lab for two 14-day periods. During one visit, they were allowed to sleep for only five-and-a-half hours each night. During the other, they slept for eight-and-a-half hours a night. During both visits, they could eat as much as they wanted, whenever they wanted.

Plamen Penev, MD, PhD, of the University of Chicago, headed the study. He presented the findings here at SLEEP 2008, the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.

Results showed that when bedtimes were restricted to five-and-a-half hours, participants consumed an average of 1,087 calories a day from snacks alone. In contrast, they consumed 866 in calories from snacking when given eight-and-a-half hours to sleep.

The total number of calories consumed each day and the total weight gain was similar during both visits. But Kothare notes that participants were only studied for a few weeks. It's possible other changes would have been seen if they were followed longer, he says.
Yup, I agree with this. If I don’t get enough sleep. I plow through my fruits and vegetables like a hippopotamus.
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William - June 13, 2008 12:42 PM

Really crappy science. The difference in calories from the "excessive" snacking is burned off by the extra calories used by being awake for 3 hours rather than being sleeping! Sleeping requires fewer calories. Being awake requires more calories. The "extra" amount of calories consumed is about the same as the amount needed to be awake compared to being alseep. So the extra snacking does not make the person fatter or put on weight ... it just provides the person the extra calories to be be actively awake for the extra 3 hours. Isn't that rather obvious? So why were wrong conclusions drawn and reported zillions of times in the media and on "authoritative" sites like this without any rational analysis? Humans are not very smart.

Gerry Pugliese - June 13, 2008 12:47 PM

Hey William-

I think you're missing the point. The key is to get enough sleep. So you don't overeat. Lack of sleep and overeating are not going to help you live a long healthy life.


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