Not getting enough sleep may lead to obesity
19th March 2012
Going without a good night’s sleep is known to make us all tired, forgetful, and sometimes cranky! But now it may also be bad for your weight, a new study has claimed. Researchers at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota analysed the sleeping patterns of 17 perfectly healthy men and women, for 8 consecutive nights.  Half of those in the study slept normally and the other half only were only permitted for two-thirds of their ‘normal sleeping time’. Everybody was allowed to eat whatever they wanted during this time, and however much they wanted. Study author Virend Somers, commented on the analysis: “We tested whether lack of sleep altered the levels of the hormones leptin and ghrelin (both associated with appetite), increased the amount of food people ate and effected energy burned through activity”. The subjects who were restricted on sleep within the ‘test group’, only had 5.2 hours of sleep per night on average, whilst the ‘control group’ benefited from approximately 6.5 hours every night.  On average, it was discovered that the sleep-deprived group ate an extra 549 calories daily and the control group ate 143 fewer calories daily. This means that the former group of people could potentially gain 1 extra pound of weight per week if they kept up that level of food consumption. Dr. Andrew D. Calvin, co-investigator and assistant professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic, had this to say: “Sleep deprivation is a growing problem, with 28% of adults now reporting that they get 6 or fewer hours of sleep per night”. It is generally recommended that adults/older persons should be getting 7-9 hours of sleep per night and adolescents should ideally have 8.5-9.5 hours.