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It’s time to wake up to the role that sleep is having on your health.

You’re working out every other day, eating well but still not seeing the results you were after? It’s time to look beyond the gym and your diet and take a closer look at you’re sleeping patterns. You’re not alone, almost half of Australians aren’t getting the recommended seven-to-nine hours of slumber a night. But you’d be surprised to realise the impact that it has on your waistline. 

  1. Craving crash

Not getting enough shut-eye has been found to alter the function of hormones in the body, making tired participants reach for carbohydrate-rich foods. Robin Tucker1, an assistant professor of food science and human nutrition at Michigan State University2 explains "we noted that after just one night of relatively modest sleep reduction, feelings of hunger, food cravings, and the portions of foods were higher compared to a night of usual sleep." 

  1. Shopping spree

Hitting the shops on a couple of hours sleep is a bad idea for your wallet and your waistline. In a study published by the journal, Obesity, sleep-deprived men bought nearly 5,439 kJ more in food than those who were well-rested3. And this wasn’t because they were hungry, all participants in the study were fed a standardized breakfast before shopping.

    3. Snaccident time

To put it simply the less you sleep, the more time you’re awake and have more opportunity to eat. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, found that sleep-restricted subjects gained almost one kilogram more a week than participants who got a full night’s sleep4. This was mostly because they ate an extra 2,300 kJ between 11 pm and 4 am when the other group were sleeping.

  1. Sleep burner

While you rest your body is busy torching calories, by getting a full night of sleep, you’ll have more energy and your body will burn more, even when you’re not exercising. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that the resting energy expenditure (calories burned while not moving) was five per cent higher for those who got a full night’s sleep5. After a meal, the same group burned 20 per cent more calories than subjects who were sleep deprived.

 




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