Not enough hours in the day? Skimping on your sleep? New studies show that losing just a few hours of sleep can lead to significant weight gain in as little as a week. Shortened periods of sleep in the evening lead to late night snacking and a 6% increase in overall caloric intake and a weight gain of 2 pounds in the course of one week.

While weight management programs and weight loss surgeries such as lap band surgery or gastric band surgery may be the first step in gaining control over your weight, it is important to make healthy lifestyle changes as well to continue to manage your weight and prevent regaining lost weight. Behavioural changes that impact what you eat, when you eat, and why you eat is vital in the battle for weight control.

Little Sleep, Big Food
A US based study published this month examined 16 healthy men and women in a controlled environment over a two-week period. The subjects in the study were given unlimited access to food. During the first week, half of the participants were given nine hours of sleep, while the other half were given only five hours of sleep each night. The study observed that the participants who were sleep deprived ate far more food overall and after only one week gained an average of two pounds.

Less Now, More Later
During the second week of the study, the groups switched the hours of sleep they were given. Observations showed that not only did the sleep-deprived participants eat more food, they also changed when they consumed their calories and what they ate. Those participants who were given less sleep  overate carbohydrates and tended to shift the balance of their calorie consumption to later in the day, eating a much smaller breakfast and snacking more after dinner. The shift in calorie consumption is linked to the internal clock, because the sleep deprived participants were still in their biological night, being woken three hours before their internal nighttime ended, they consumed less. The change then lead to snacking in the evening and a 6% overall increase in calories consumed during the day.

This short term study was able to show a significant link between sleep deprivation and weight gain but researchers identified a need for further research to examine long term correlation between the two as well as how limited sleep impacts our eating habits.

The research shows a link between sleep deprivation and weight gain, where losing only a few hours of sleep for a one week period can lead to significant weight gain. Beyond feeling tired, insignificant sleep can lead to increased food consumption, poor food choices and ultimately weight gain, highlighting the importance of getting enough sleep as a healthy part of weight management.

If you are battling with your weight and would like to know more about the best weight loss surgery options for you, contact us today and for a free call back from our of our qualified, US-based weight loss consultants.