Do You Lose Weight When You Sleep More? That’s what one study set out to find.
The effect of sleep on the body and energy levels has frequently been studied and yet the effect that sleep deprivation may have on weight is not a topic that has been previously covered. According to a new study, there could be a link between sleep and obesity.
The study ‘Effects of Experimental Sleep Restriction on Energy Intake, Energy Expenditure and Visceral Obesity which was originally published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology was completed by an expert team of medical professionals and researchers. Their objectives going into the study were relatively simple.
They wanted to fully investigate the potential effects of experimentally-induced sleep curtailment in different settings. They wanted to know: Do You Lose Weight When You Sleep More?
The settings examined included places with free access to food, where energy intake could be measured, measurements of energy expenditure, and regional body composition.
The study group chosen for this study consisted of twelve healthy individuals, all of whom were at a healthy weight. Out of the twelve individuals, nine were males with ages ranging from 19 to 39 years old. The study was a randomized, controlled, crossover, 21-day inpatient study
To control the study and to gain evidence during every stage, measurements of energy intake, energy expenditure, body weight, body composition, fat distribution, and circulating biomarkers were repeatedly acquired during all stages of the study.
The results showed that participants with sleep restriction vs those with sleep control would consume a larger number of calories. There was also an increase in protein intake. Between the two groups there appeared to be no difference in the levels of energy expenditure throughout the study.
That means they were using the same number of calories. But the sleep deprivation group was eating far more calories.
Participants in the experimental sleep restriction conditions gained more weight during their days of sleep deprivation than they did during the period of control sleep. During sleep restriction the total abdominal fat also increased in both the subcutaneous and visceral abdominal fat deposits.
As a result of this study, it is safe to state that the combination of sleep restriction with easy access to food can lead to huge jumps in calorie intake.
However, sleeping less will not be using more calories. Sleep loss specifically may have an effect on weight gain and the accumulation of fat in the body and could potentially lead to individuals with a predisposition to visceral obesity.
When it comes to human needs, sleep remains one of the paragons of health, and yet it is one that many people neglect. Many studies, including the one mentioned above, have shown how sleep deprivation could predispose people to obesity and could lead to higher risks of obesity and immune dysfunction.
This study in particular shows the effects when those same individuals are given free access to food. While more studies are necessary to understand all of the connections between sleep and body weight, the evidence from this study helps us understand the extent to which the two are related.