Consumption of more foods in 24 hours linked to sleep deprivation

Emobileclinic Researchers Corner 




The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition has published the findings of researchers from King’s College, London who found that people who experienced sleep deprivation tends to eat more calories totaling about 385 kcal the following day to make for the lost sleep.

The study analyzed the results of 11 studies involving 172 participants which compare a partial sleep restriction intervention with an unrestricted sleep control and measured the individuals’ energy intake over the next 24 hours.

The result showed that there was no significant effect of partial sleep deprivation on the amount of energy people used 24 hours after. Therefore, participants received a net energy gain of 385 calories daily. Furthermore, it was uncovered that people with sleep deprivation eat more of fatty foods than protein intakes.

Dr Gerda Pot noted that: ‘the main cause of obesity is an imbalance between calorie intake and expenditure and this study adds to accumulating evidence that sleep deprivation could contribute to this imbalance. So there may be some truth in the saying ‘early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy and wise’. This study found that partial sleep deprivation resulted in a large net increased energy intake of 385 kcal per day. If long-term sleep deprivation continues to result in an increased calorie intake of this magnitude, it may contribute to weight gain. He stressed further that a ‘reduced sleep is one of the most common and potentially modifiable health risks in today’s society in which chronic sleep loss is becoming more common. More research is needed to investigate the importance of long-term, partial sleep deprivation as a risk factor for obesity and whether sleep extension could play a role in obesity prevention.’

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An earlier small study involving 26 adults discovered that partial sleep deprivation led to increased activation of the brain regions linked to reward when people were exposed to food. A higher desire to seek food could explain reasons for the increased food intake found in sleep deprived people in the study.
The level of sleep restriction differs, for sleep deprived participants having between three and a half to five and a half hours in the night, the control subjects spent between seven and 12 hours in bed.

The study recommended for more intervention studies on the effect of increased sleep duration over longer periods daily on weight gain and obesity as most of the studies included in this analysis were in regulated laboratory conditions over periods of one day to two weeks.







Gerda K. Pot (2016): The effects of partial sleep deprivation on energy balance: a systematic review and meta-analysis. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, doi:10.1038/ejcn.2016.201

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