A new study, recently published in SLEEP last month (July 2013) found that folks gained a significant amount of weight after only 5 days of poor sleep.
Previous studies have shown a link between poor sleep and weight gain, but this is the first study where participants slept in-house in a sleep facility and the actual weight gain was measurably significant after only a handful of 4 hour nights in a row.
Here are the study details:
Researchers took 225 healthy adults with no history of sleep problems.
Half of the participants had time in bed from 10 PM to 8 AM, but half were only allowed time in bed from 4AM to 8AM for 5 nights in a row.
The results showed:
- The group that had a full nights rest, on average, gained only a quarter of a pound… even though they were offered unlimited amounts of food throughout the length of the study.
- Having access to the exact same food as the control group, the sleep deprived group gained almost 9 times as much weight as the folks who got full rest… over 2 pounds in only 5 days.
If healthy individuals who experience a short period of sleep deprivation gain 9 times as much weight as healthy individuals who get a full night of sleep, what does this predict for folks who are chronically sleep deprived?
If you are watching your weight or struggling to understand why your best efforts are not good enough to prevent you from gaining weight, examine your sleep.
Sleep deprivation is incredibly stressful to the body.
Sleep deprivation impacts you from head to toe… decreasing your concentration, increasing your likelihood of accidents and impairing your judgement. But here are 3 other ways you may not realize that sleep deprivation has been harming you:
1. Weight Gain:
If you are chronically depriving yourself of quality sleep, you are likely to be gaining up to 9 times as much weight as you would be if you had a full nights sleep on a regular basis.
2. Increasing Long Term Risk of Dementia:
As I reported previously in this article… sleep is turning out to be a crucial element in many long-term chronic diseases, such as Alzheimers disease.
Poor sleep quality = a 5 fold increase in the risk of developing Alzehimers dementia!
3. Worsening Anxiety:
A new study just published in The Journal Of Neuroscience shows that if you have anxiety, sleep deprivation actually impacts you even more then it impacts other people.
“People who are anxious by nature are the same people who will suffer the greatest harm from sleep deprivation,” senior investigator Matthew Walker, PhD, professor of psychology and neuroscience at UC Berkeley.
Sleep has been in the forefront of the news by the stunning testimony that Michael Jackson had gone approximately 60 days without any deep, restorative REM sleep, which was likely responsible for a constellation of his symptoms including confusion, memory loss and paranoia.
It is thought that no human being has ever gone that long without restorative sleep before, as previous laboratory experiments show that rats perish after only 5 weeks without restorative sleep.
Ready to give yourself a sleep make over?
Click here to read my top 9 ways to improve your sleep quality… tonight!
My children’s book, Together We Sleep is a calming and peaceful bedtime story full of illustrations of families all over the world tucking into bed at night together, and it includes a helpful guide for parents in the back of the book.
In it, I explain my absolutely favorite ways to help create a soothing bedtime routine… simple things you can do with your child immediately, that very night, to pave the way for a restorative night of sleep for your precious little one.
Sleeping well and developing good sleep habits are an extremely important part of a healthy lifestyle.
Model this for your children tonight by making sleep a priority in your own life! Nighty-night!