An extra hour of sleep leads to a calorie deficit in overweight people

(ORDO NEWS) — In the scientific world, there is growing evidence of a link between insufficient sleep and obesity.

Scientists from the Medical University of Chicago, USA, considered the other side of the issue. As it turns out, increasing the length of nightly sleep in overweight people can lead to a significant reduction in daily calorie intake!

The connection between sleep and obesity has long been known. However, scientists still poorly understand it …

A 2021 study found that an extra hour of sleep in newborns can help reduce the risk of obesity in the first months of life.

“Sleep restriction affects appetite regulation, which leads to increased food intake and thus puts you at risk for weight gain over time,” says lead researcher Esra Tasali.

As part of the new study, scientists examined data from 80 adults. All subjects were overweight and had a short sleep duration of less than 6.5 hours per night, which is a recognized risk factor for obesity. The idea was to see if increasing sleep duration could reduce their weight.

The subjects were randomly assigned sleep hygiene counseling, which increased their sleep duration by an average of 1.2 hours per night, but the other volunteers continued to sleep on their regular schedule.

This happened over the course of two weeks. The participants slept at home, but their sleep was tracked by special trackers, information from which was then collected by scientists. In addition, the authors of the work tracked the diet of volunteers.

“Most studies on this topic are short-lived, within a few days,” says Tasali. “In our study, we only manipulated sleep and allowed participants to eat whatever they wanted.”

To keep track of energy consumption, scientists used the so-called “double labeling of water” method.

It consists of people drinking water in which the oxygen and hydrogen molecules are replaced by stable isotopes that can be easily tracked as they are excreted from the body, making it possible to measure every calorie burned.

As a result, the researchers found that an additional 1.2 hours of sleep, on average, led to a significant reduction in food intake among the subjects, with some eating as much as 500 fewer calories per day.

On average, the intervention resulted in an average 270 calorie reduction and resulted in a calorie deficit among the participants, albeit for a short period of time.

However, scientists have yet to understand why increasing sleep leads to lower calorie intake.

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