Friday, July 5, 2013
Sleep Deprivation #1
It's a very simple concept, sleep, and yet the CDC estimates that 30% of US workers are sleep deprived. A new study published in the journal Sleep has provided some eye-operning information about the relationship between adequate and proper sleep and a whole host of health problems. One that caught my attention was the relationship of sleep to weight gain in healthy adults. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania monitored the eating habits of 225 non-obese, healthy individuals (ages 22 to 50) over a five-day stretch. Participants were placed in either a control group (slept from 10pm to 8am) or in a sleep deprived group (slept from 4am to 8am). Study results showed that the sleep deprived group gained more weight over five days than the control group. They tended to consume more than 550 calories during the late-night hours, and the food was fattier than calories consumed throughout the day. According to Christopher Winter, medical director of the Martha Jefferson Sleep Medicine Center, sleep-deprived individuals experience an increase in their levels of ghrelin (which stimulates hunger cravings) and a decrease in leptin (which controls satiation). Bottom line? Healthy adults who tend to stay up late and not get enough sleep are more susceptible to weight gain. Early to bed may help keep off the pounds. This is the first study I've seen linking late bedtimes to weight gain in healthy adults.