Sleep deprivation may result in weight gain, reports a researcher from King's College London after reviewing data obtained from 11 studies involving a total of 172 participants.

According to the study, a person tends to take 400 calories in excess the following day in case of sleep deprivation the night before. It is said that people also choose unhealthy food in place of healthy food when they are sleep deprived. If the scenario continues, the amount of excess calories consumed could increase gradually and result in obesity and overweight.

On analyzing data from 11 studies, the researchers found that when people had 3.5 to 5.5 hours of sleep a night, they consumed 385 additional calories the next day compared with nights when they had a minimum of seven hours of sleep.

How Lack Of Sleep Makes You Gain Weight

According to Gerda Pot, author of the study and a lecturer in the Diabetes & Nutritional Sciences Division at KCL, sleep deprivation could result in weight gain in plenty of ways and one of them include being awake for more number of hours a day. When a person is awake for a long time he gets more chances to eat.

"If long-term sleep deprivation continues to result in an increased calorie intake of this magnitude, it may contribute to weight gain," Pot said. "And ultimately to obesity and [being] overweight."

It is also noted that when people lacked sleep they took diet rich in fat and poor in protein. Fats are rich in calories than protein, however, protein keeps a person fuller for a long time than fat.

On the other hand, short night sleeps could stimulate the production of the hunger hormone, ghrelin and decreases the production of the hormone leptin that gives the feeling of fullness. The biological clock of the body also gets disturbed due to lack of sleep. When the cardiac rhythm that regulates sleep time and food time is altered, the food consumption also increases.

The researchers noted that not having enough sleep for just a day or two doesn't really matter, however, if the problem becomes chronic it is more likely to affect the individual's waistline.

Sleep Loss And Obesity In The U.S.

As far as United States is concerned, chronic loss of sleep is more prevalent and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's estimate has it that about 30 percent of adults in the country regularly get less than hours of sleep a night. And about 70 percent of adults in the country are obese, establishing a strong link between lack of sleep and obesity.

The study is published in the journal European Journal of Clinical Nutrition on Nov. 2.

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