Caring for You and Your Family

Sleeping less than seven hours a night can lead to weight gain – Study

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Researchers from King’s College London analyzed 11 studies to determine if sleep duration can contribute to weight gain.

They studied 172 individuals and found that those people didn’t necessary eat more the next day, but made more unhealthy choices.

People aged 18 to 64 are advised to get seven to nine hours of sleep per night, according to the National Sleep Foundation, and experts say this is imperative to maintaining a healthy diet.

In the study, people who were sleep deprived tended to opt for foods higher in fat content and lower in protein.

‘These findings suggest that short sleep heighten the motivation to seek food for reward,’ the authors wrote.

The donut or cookie someone is eyeing might look a lot better when they are sleep deprived because they think they ‘deserve it’.

This can cause a diet with higher fats and lower proteins.

Everyone needs an adequate amount of protein in their diet because all of the cells in the body use it to function.

Protein provides structure for the body’s organs, muscles, nails and hair. It also allows for the cells to communicate between each other for muscle contractions and nerve signals.

Low-protein and high-fat diets can impact someone’s health by increasing the risk for developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.

These extra 385 calories people were consuming when they were sleep deprived tended to come from snack foods such as a bag of chips or cookies.

Researchers also found that people who slept less than seven hours a night were less likely to be active the next day.

This impacted their body’s ability to burn calories and prevent weigh gain.

On average, the body needs to burn off an average of 3,500 calories per week (or 500 calories per day) to lose one pound.

If the body is gaining an extra 400 calories instead of burning it off, then every week that person will add one more pound to their body weight.

Experts recommend for people to pay attention to their sleep habits so that it doesn’t hinder their diet the next day.

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