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HHS HealthBeat (September 25, 2013)

Sleep less, weigh more

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

You can’t eat while you’re asleep, but that’s not the only benefit from getting enough sleep if you’re trying to control your weight. Researcher Andrea Spaeth of the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine saw what happened when 225 people ages 22 to 50 spent 18 days in a sleep lab where researchers could measure what they ate and how long they slept. They couldn’t exercise.

She says that, when people stayed up into the early morning, they went for more calories:

“When they were up from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., they consumed over 550 calories. In addition, the calories consumed during these late hours were higher in fat.”

The average gain for the sleep-restricted people was a couple of pounds.

The study in the journal Sleep was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Learn more at healthfinder.gov.

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

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Last revised: September 25, 2013