Not getting enough shut-eye can cause a lot more damage than you think. Not only does it affect your ability to function the next day and make you look older, but it can also make even healthy people gain weight.
According to a new study from the University of Pennsylvania, your chances of weight gain are significantly higher if you don’t get enough sleep. This may not exactly be breaking news, but what makes these findings important is that this is the largest controlled study of the sleeping habits of people who were healthy and non-obese to date.
The study involved 225 people between the ages of 22 and 50 that stayed in the lab for up to 18 days. The participants were randomly divided into two groups—one group slept from 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. and the other group slept from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. All of the participants were fed meals at the same time everyday and they also had access to a well-stocked kitchen. They were not allowed to exercise and could only do sedentary activities.
What the researchers found was that the sleep-deprived individuals consumed more calories overall and consumed meals that had a higher fat content late at night. They also found that men gained more weight than women and that African-American individuals rapidly gained more weight than Caucasians.
However, don’t think that just getting some extra beauty sleep alone will make you lose weight. Experts say that incorporating a sleep schedule into an overall weight loss program can help people achieve a healthier weight.
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