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Sleep curtailment is accompanied by increased intake of calories from snacks

The Researchers: A. V. Nedeltcheva, et al.

Published In: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 89(1), pp.126-33, 2009

Prognosis

Lack of sleep leads to snacking.

Particulars

Wonder what happened while you weren't sleeping? Snacktime!

In this study, 11 healthy men and women spent two weeks fully rested (snoozing 8.5 hours per night), and two weeks sleep deprived (sleeping 5.5 hours per night).

The researchers found that sleep-deprived subjects ate normal meals, but took in significantly more calories from snacks throughout the day. They also craved carbs, and ate fewer proteins and fats (which help you feel full).

Why? Sleep loss may boost your body's starvation response, leading you to look for calories wherever you can get them. 

Bottom line: If you're entering a phase of reduced sleep (school, work, baby, travel) keep carb-loaded snacks out of the house—and lock the mini-bar if you're traveling!

Beauty connection

When you're tuckered out, your beauty takes a hit. Sleep deprivation is associated with obesity and difficulty losing weight, as well as weight gain from all those carb-y snacks. Well-rested people have better heart health, which wards off wrinkles and boosts sex drive. They also have better memory—all the better to track your snacking, my dear!

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