According to a new research paper, people who lose an hour’s sleep a night are more likely to develop hunger craving’s during the day, which make them eat the equivalent of an extra meal a day.
The Mayo Clinic, USA, conducted the study because they felt that more and more people were becoming obese due to being sleep deprived. They asked 17 volunteers to live in an ‘Big Brother’ style house so that they can measure how much they slept and ate. During the first three nights they were allowed to sleep for as long as they liked (on average 6.5 hours). They were split into two groups, nine were allowed to carry on with their normal sleeping habits and patterns, and the rest had their sleeping hours reduced to 5 hours and 10 mins. The volunteers could eat as much as they wanted and on average, the volunteers who had their sleep patterns disrupted ate over 500 more calories (the same as a hamburger and chips) than the others.
Professor Virend Somers, they senior author in the study and a heart disease specialist, said “the increase was much more than we had expected. Many young people spend hours at night using technology and on website such as Facebook, which is stopping them from sleeping enough. Is that having an impact on obesity? It may be the case.”
The Life Dept adds: it’s great when you see some research that confirms what you already knew – presumably this is the body seeking an extra source of energy to make up for the lack of sleep. Interestingly we’ve reported previously that looking at a computer screen shortly before going to bed is the equivalent of having a double expresso – so it is not just the time you spend on the computer – it will have a lingering sleep deprivation effect if you do it too close to bedtime. Long term sleep deprivation has serious effects – only last week we reported it raises the risk of dementia. In terms of the extra calories the level of your BMI (body mass index) can affect how much you pay in your premiums. It is important to keep your BMI at the correct level not only for your general health and well being but for your life insurance to!
Written exclusively for THE LIFE & critical illness DEPT | 19 Mar 2012 | providers of life insurance, critical illness insurance and income protection cover.
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