Light on Sleep, Heavy on Snacks?

If you're looking for a way to cut down on snacking, you
might want to get more sleep.

That's according to a new study of 11 adults whose sleep and
eating patterns were studied at the University of Chicago's sleep research
lab.

Participants spent two weeks getting only 5 1/2 hours of sleep a night. At
least three months later, they went back to the sleep lab and spent two weeks
sleeping for 8 1/2 hours per night.

Throughout that time, participants were provided meals and they had
unlimited access to snacks. The researchers -- who included Arlet Nedeltcheva,
MD, of the University of Chicago -- monitored what participants ate, down to
the nibble.

Participants averaged 220 extra calories from snacks -- mainly
carbohydrates eaten at night -- on the days after sleeping only 5 1/2 hours,
compared to after sleeping 8 1/2 hours.

Participants weren't especially active during their extra hours of time
awake. So their extra snacking when they had little sleep created a bloated
calorie tab, setting them up for weight gain.

Nedeltcheva's study appears in January's edition of The American Journal
of Clinical Nutrition
.


(For more on the surprising reasons for weight gain, see WebMD's Weight Gain
Shockers Slideshow .)





By Miranda Hitti
Reviewed by Louise Chang
©2005-2008 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved

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