The holidays are over and New Year’s Resolutions are being put to the test. Those post-holiday snacks and junk food in the cupboards could cost you…close to two pounds, in fact. A study done by the University of Colorado Boulder, had participants that gained roughly two pounds (BedTimes). These same participants slept a mere five hours a night during a workweek and also had unlimited access to food (Wright).

Now, less sleep does not necessarily mean you’ll gain weight. As Kenneth Wright, the of CU-Boulder’s Sleep and Chronobiology Laboratory, said, “Just getting less sleep, by itself, is not going to lead to weight gain. But when people get insufficient sleep, it leads them to eat more than they actually need” (Wright).

He went on to argue that the reverse is also true. “I don’t think extra sleep by itself is going to lead to weight loss. Problems with weight gain and obesity are much more complex than that. But I think it could help. If we can incorporate healthy sleep into weight-loss and weight-maintenance programs, our findings suggest that it may assist people to obtain a healthier weight” (Wright).

The study went on to show that while those who slept five hours burned more energy than those who slept up to nine hours, they also consumed more calories. In fact, the sleep deprived had a tendency to consume large amounts of calories in evening snacks, more calories than any previous meal that same day. The study suggests that overeating at night may be a contributing factor in weight gain (Wright).

So, the next time you’re thinking of a late-night snack after a few sleepless nights, just remember, it may not be worth the extra weight gain.

Sources:

BedTimes. “Study: Less sleep leads to binging, weight gain.” BedTimes, April 2013, https://bedtimesmagazine.com/2013/04/study-less-sleep-leads-to-binging-weight-gain/. Accessed 27 December 2017.

Wright, Kenneth. “Less sleep leads to more eating and more weight gain, according to new CU-Boulder study.” CU Boulder Today, 11, March 2013, https://www.colorado.edu/today/2013/03/11/less-sleep-leads-more-eating-and-more-weight-gain-according-new-cu-boulder-study. Accessed 27 December 2017.