• By Joel Streed

Does Less Sleep Mean More Calories?

March 15, 2012

You may be eating too much if you're not getting enough sleep. Mayo Clinic researchers studied 17 healthy young men and women between the ages of 18 and 40.  For eight nights, half the subjects slept their usual amount of time and the other half slept two-thirds their normal time. Participants were allowed to eat as much as they wanted.

Researchers found:

  • The group that slept one hour and 20 minutes less than the control group consumed an average 549 extra calories a day. 
  • The amount of energy used didn’t change significantly between the two groups. The researchers say this suggests the group that slept less didn’t burn more calories.
  • Less sleep was associated with increased levels of leptin and decreased levels of ghrelin — hormones that are associated with appetite. The authors say these changes were more likely a consequence, not a cause, of overeating.

Soundbites from study author, Dr. Andrew Calvin, are available in the downloads above.

Expert Title:  Dr. Andrew Calvin, Mayo Clinic Cardiologist

The research was presented this week at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism 2012 Scientific Sessions.


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