Scientists have known for years that sleeping more can actually help you lose weight. There are many studies to support this conclusion. One such study published in 2005 which included 8000 adults over several years found that less sleep corresponded to greater risks of weight gain. Is the answer to the American obesity problem in the bedroom? It's true that eating and sleeping cannot really occur at the same time.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition studied a small group of men and women and measured their food intake over 48 hours periods. One period of time included 8 hours of sleep and another in which the participants slept only 4 hours. After the night of less sleep the men consumed more than 500 extra calories or approximately 22% more.
The University of Chicago did a similar study last year and and similar findings in both men and women. The less sleep the more calories eaten, particularly carbohydrates. Makes sense to me, when I haven't gotten a good nights sleep I tend to make up for my lack of energy with food. Some studies blame the gain on hormones. They argue decreased sleep creates a spike in ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite and an increase in leptin, which signals satiety. But there seems to be no consensus yet. Regardless, sleep aids such as Chinese herbs can help you stay asleep and give you the rest you need, without side-effects or additional calories. Prescription sleep aids in comparison with placebo pills only provided 11.4 minutes of additional rest but then, that is a subject for another bog.
What do you think? Does a night of better sleep equal less food intake the next day?
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18719052 Eur J Endocrinol. 2008 Dec;159 Suppl 1:S59-66. Epub 2008 Aug 21. Sleep and the epidemic of obesity in children and adults.