Effects of Sleep Restriction on Weight Gain, Caloric Intake, and Meal Timing

TVAre you watching too much TV at night? Do you work overtime in the evening? If you do, you have now a reason to stop your late-night activities. A recent study has now shown that staying up late at night may have ill-effects. The study suggests that healthy adults with late bedtimes are more likely to gain weight because of the food they snack on. This study, which was undertaken by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have found that healthy adults with late bedtimes and chronic sleep limitation may be more prone to gain weight due to an increased intake of calories during the late night hours.

The study involved 225 healthy individuals who were not obese belonging to the age group 22-50 years. These subjects were divided into two groups. People belonging to the first group were subjected to restricted sleep while those belonging to the second group were in the control group. These people spent 18 consecutive days in a laboratory where they were served food at meal times and snacks as needed. They were not permitted to do any exercise but could watch T.V., play video games, read and perform other sedentary activities. The researchers soon noted that the subjects in the group where sleep was restricted gained weight when compared to the control participants that slept for 10 hours each night from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. The researchers noted that the first group that was subjected to restricted sleep put on more weight due to an increase in the number of meals taken during the additional hours the participants were awake. Most of the calories consumed were from the late night meals they consumed. They noticed that males were more likely to put on weight when compared to the females and African American gained more weight than Caucasians.

Obesity can indeed result from lack of sleep. A shorter sleep duration, as is seen in sleep apnoea, can give rise to weight gain and obesity. This can be due to an increase in the levels of epinephrine and corticosteroid hormones, which in turn increase blood pressure, heart rate and blood sugar. This can further contribute to weight gain, obesity and diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Weight gain is said to be a risk factor for obstructive sleep apnoea and also otherwise. While weight gain can lead to obstructive sleep apnoea, obstructive sleep apnoea can also predispose to weight gain. More studies are needed to further establish the relationship between weight gain and sleep apnoea.

You can learn more about the association between sleep apnoea and weight gain by clicking on this link:


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Somnowell Inventor - Visiting Professor Simon Ash FDS MSc MOrth BDS

Prof. Ash is the inventor of the highly successful SOMNOWELL Chrome device for snoring and sleep apnoea.

The Somnowell Chrome is made to exacting standards in the Somnowell laboratory under the supervision of Visiting Professor Simon Ash. Prof. Ash and his master technicians create each Somnowell Chrome device using their wealth of experience and expertise.

Prof. Ash works at the forefront of his profession. He is a Consultant and Specialist Orthodontist with over 30 years clinical experience, with a special interest in sleep related breathing disorders, TMJD, and bruxism. He currently works in Harley Street London and two private hospitals in London as part of a multi-disciplinary team managing snoring and sleep apnoea, and is Visiting Professor of Orthodontics at the BPP University.