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Too Little Sleep, Too Much Weight?

separator It might seem like people who sleep the fewest hours would be burning more calories. But a recent study showed that people who got less than 4 hours of sleep per night were 73 percent more likely to be obese than people who got 7 to 9 hours. And people who had an average of 5 hours of sleep per night had a 50 percent greater risk. 

The study followed 18,000 adults who took part in the federal government’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

The catch seems to be that while people are staying awake for longer hours, they are also more likely to be eating. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body has lower levels of a protein called leptin, which helps suppress your appetite. Additionally, the sleepier you are, the less sound your decision-making ability is, so you’re more likely to eat things you really shouldn’t be eating.

So the message is really simple here: get to bed before the urge for a cheeseburger hits in the wee hours of the morning.

The North American Association for the Study of Obesity
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