Is lack of sleep making you fat?

You know that lack of sleep is making you tired but scientists say it could also make you gain weight.

A US study which observed participants who slept for just five hours each night found that they gained more weight over a week, and when they returned to adequate sleeping patterns, they shed weight.

Researchers at Colorado Boulder University say that while the results were definitive, weight loss or gain can’t be wholly attributed to lack of sleep.

Participants who lacked sleep were found to snack more and have a higher consumption of fat and carbohydrates whereas those who slept for nine hours a night tended to eat larger breakfasts but didn’t crave after-dinner snacks.

“I don’t think extra sleep by itself is going to lead to weight loss,” Professor Ken Wright told The Daily Mail.

“Problems with weight gain and obesity are much more complex than that. But I think it could help.

“If we can incorporate healthy sleep into weight-loss and weight-maintenance programmes our findings suggest it may assist people to obtain a healthier weight.”

Previous studies have found that a lack of sleep can slow down metabolism and cause the body to use less energy for simple tasks like breathing and eating.

Limited rest has also been thought to encourage weight gain by boosting hunger and slowing down the rate at which calories are burned, as has also been associated with weight-related diseases like type-2 diabetes.

The current findings add to growing evidence that overeating at night may contribute to weight gain.

“Just getting less sleep by itself is not going to lead to weight gain. But when people get insufficient sleep it leads them to eat more than they actually need,” Dr Wright said.

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