Sleep Your Way Thin

Once again, science is telling us that one weapon in the battle of the bulge may be as simple as getting a good night’s sleep.

Researchers at the University of Colorado have found that when they deprived men and women of sleep (cutting them back to as little as five hours a night) those tired subjects tended to feed their fatigue with too much food. The overeating was particularly pronounced in men who participated in the study, but the women also ate more when given unlimited access to food and were deliberately sleep-deprived.

Interestingly, researchers found that the exhausted subjects ate far more than the calories needed to function during the extra hours they were awake, adding to the growing body of research that correlates sleep deprivation with obesity.

“I don’t think extra sleep by itself is going to lead to weight loss,” Kenneth Wright, director of the Sleep and Chronobiology Laboratory at the University of Colorado, Boulder, says in a university news release. “Problems with weight gain and obesity are much more complex than that. But I think it could help.”