Extending sleep duration may curb overeating

November 2, 2012 in Nutrition Topics in the News, Weight Management

Extending sleep duration may curb overeating

A new study suggests that increasing the amount of sleep that adults get could lead to reduced food intake, but the hormonal process differs between men and women.

The study, published in the November issue of the journal Sleep, tracked the sleep duration, glucose (sugar) dysregulation, and hormonal regulation of appetite in 27 normal weight, 30- to 45-year-old men and women.

Participants provided fasting blood samples and were studied under two sleep conditions: short (4 hours) or habitual (9 hours). Short sleep increased total ghrelin levels (the hunger-stimulating hormone) in men but not women. Short sleep also reduced GLP-1 levels (a satiety hormone) in women but not in men.

These results suggest that the common susceptibility to overeat during short sleep is related to increased appetite in men and reduced feelings of fullness in women.

The researchers stated "the state of energy balance, whether someone is in a period of weight loss or weight gain, may be critical in the metabolic and hormonal responses to sleep restriction."

According to the authors, this is the largest controlled clinical investigation of the effects of sleep reduction on hormonal regulation of food intake. The results support a causal role of sleep duration on energy intake and weight control.

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