Lack of sleep can lead you to eat larger portions of
high-calorie foods and increase your long-term risk of weight gain, according
to a small new study.
Swedish researchers asked 16 normal-weight males to choose
their ideal portions of high-kilojoule meals and snacks. They did this when they
had a normal night of about eight hours sleep and again when they went a night
The participants chose larger portion sizes after the night
with no sleep. They did this both before and after a breakfast, which suggests
that sleep deprivation increases food intake regardless of whether a person
feels full, said study author Pleunie Hogenkamp, of Uppsala University.
"Bearing in mind that insufficient sleep is a growing
problem in modern society, our results may explain why poor sleep habits can
affect people's risk to gain weight in the long run," Hogenkamp said in a
university news release.
In a previous study, the same team of researchers found that
young, normal-weight men who went a single night without sleep had increased
activation of a brain region involved in the desire to eat.
Although the study found an association between lack of
sleep and increased appetite for high-kJ foods, it did not prove a
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains
how to prevent weight gain.