Ever notice how easy it is to eat everything in sight when you’re feeling sleep deprived?
It’s not just in your mind. Lack of sleep is a big stressor and does damage to our bodies and health in a myriad of ways. And a recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition confirms that sleep restriction could be one of the environmental factors contributing to the obesity epidemic.
The study found that normal-weight young men ate several hundred extra calories a day when they’d gotten just four hours of sleep, compared to when they slept a full eight hours.
The study, from the European Centre for Taste Sciences in Dijon, France, followed the eating, sleeping and calorie expenditure of 12 healthy young men during two two-day periods. The first two days served as a control period during which the young men followed their normal routines but kept a diary of their eating, sleeping and other activities. During the second two-day period the men went to bed at midnight and woke up at 8 AM on the first day, and went to bed at 2 AM and woke up at 6 AM on the second day.
There were no restrictions on food during either period.
The researchers found that after the short sleep night (2 AM to 6 AM) the men consumed a whopping 22% more calories than when they slept a full 8 hours. This accounted for almost 560 extra calories per day per person!
I’ve written at length about the importance of sleep for weight control, overall health, stress reduction and longevity, most recently in “The Most Effective Ways to Live Longer” (which is now available in a Kindle Edition!)
There are, of course, many sleeping pills on the market- some of which are not terribly bad- but I’d prefer to try natural remedies first. Two in particular that have been found to be very effective are the Sleep Formula by Gaia Herbs and the End Fatigue Revitalizing Sleep Formula, formulated by Jacob Teitelbaum, MD.