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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

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
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