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Going to bed late? It could lead to weight gain

8/24 10:22:13

If you’re a night owl who’s struggling to lose weight and keep it off, your bedtime could be to blame! 

A new study from the University of Pennsylvania found that when healthy adults go to bed too late, they are more susceptible to weight gain, due to the increased consumption of calories during late-night hours.

In the largest, most diverse health sample studied to date under controlled laboratory conditions, results show that sleep-restricted subjects who spent only four hours in bed from 04h00 to 08h00 for five consecutive nights, gained more weight than control subjects who were in bed for 10 hours each night from 22h00 to 08h00. 

The study found an overall increase in caloric intake during sleep restriction, due to an increase in the number of meals consumed during the late-night period of additional wakefulness. Furthermore, the proportion of calories consumed from fat was higher during late-night hours than at other times of day.

The study, which appears in the July issue of the journal Sleep, comprised 225 healthy, non-obese individuals, ranging in age from 22-50 years. Subjects were randomised to either the sleep restriction or control condition, and spent up to 18 consecutive days in the laboratory.

"Although previous epidemiological studies have suggested an association between short sleep duration and weight gain/obesity, we were surprised to observe significant weight gain during an in-laboratory study," said lead author, Andrea Spaeth, a doctoral candidate in the Psychology Department, at the University of Pennsylvania. 

So, if you want to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, turn in a little earlier every evening - the scale will thank you! 

If you're struggling to get a good night's sleep, read Tips to help with insomnia and restless sleep and if your trying to lose weight with little success, read 3 Reasons why you’re NOT losing weight. 

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