Dietary and nutritional content reviewed by Jasmin Gorostiza, DT, DM, DSS, CFPP.️
Staying up until late in the night decreases your weight loss probability.
According to an article on Healthday News, night owls are more likely to gain weight when compared to people who get adequate sleep. A new study suggests that sleep deprived individuals have a higher propensity of grazing the kitchen for junk food just before daybreak.
Why Late Night Sleeping Causes Weight Gain
Research conducted at the University of Pennsylvania reveals that, late night sleepers — individuals who stay up until 4 A.M. — consume an additional 550 calories in the late-night hours. Andrea Spaeth asserts that, night owls consume calories that are higher in fat in the late night when compared to those consumed during the normal hours of the day; consequently, they gain more weight when compared to people who get more sleep.
Dr. W. Christopher Winter, the medical director of Martha Jefferson Sleep Medicine Centre, Charlottesville, VA., indicates that, hormonal changes occurring due to sleep deprivation predispose late-night sleepers to overeating. An increase in ghreline hormone stimulates hunger while a decrease in leptin, which is a hormone that makes people feel satisfied, causes overeating.
How The Study Was Conducted
About 200 participants played a part in the study. For five days, they were allowed only four hours of sleep — they stayed up until 4 A.M. For the whole time that they were in the lab, they remained in groups of four or five. Subjects were allowed to eat when they felt like it, and the professional monitors kept records of the time and amounts consumed. Related Read: Nutrisystem helps people lose weight effectively
… night owls consume calories that are higher in fat in the late night when compared to those consumed during the normal hours of the day; consequently, they gain more weight when compared to people who get more sleep.
Researchers then compared their findings to those of the individuals (control group) that had adequate sleep and the same food ratio. Spaeth states that, they only difference between the two groups was the sleep aspect. Both groups lived in the same suite; it had a kitchen with a microwave and a fridge. Related Read: Frozen Foods From Nutrisystem Are Now Available
The behavior of the control group remained same, while that of the late-night sleepers increased its calorie intake between 10 P.M. and 4 A.M. — they preferred fattier foods. However, there was a slight difference.
Since the study was conducted in a suite located inside a hospital, the kitchen was only stocked with hospital food: it usually has foods with low calories. This means, the effect would have been greater if the study was done in the real world where foods have higher calorie levels.
What Were The Research Findings?
Winter believes that, ordinarily, studies show a connection between sleep deprivation and weight gain. However, this study places people in a lab setting and studies their behavior. Keeping track of an individual’s calorie intake while he is in the field is difficult, because you only rely on his food diary, which is based on his memory: it may not be very dependable. The lab perfectly controls the environment and reports the findings.
… research adds to growing evidence, which states that people interested in weight loss need at least seven to eight hours of rest every night.
Generally, males gained more weight when compared to females; in addition, blacks gained more weight than whites. Spaeth indicated that further research is ongoing, and it will unearth why there’s a difference in result findings.
Winter stated that the research adds to growing evidence, which states that people interested in weight loss need at least seven to eight hours of rest every night. He also states that if you cannot avoid staying up until late night — for whatever reason — you need to keep track of your cravings. Related read: Get a discount and save on this effective diet program
The Bottom Line
Sleep is an important part of maintaining your overall health. Sometimes, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain a proper sleep routine, due to work-related factors or environmental factors such as stress. As a result, you may find yourself staying up until late at night.
The above discussion shows the negative impact sleep deprivation has on weight loss. However, if you must stay up until late into the night, it is prudent to check your calorie intake.
Are you one of those people who sleep late at night while trying to lose weight? Have you had some success at all?