Did you know that not getting enough sleep might affect your waistline? Researchers think they have the answer to that question—on average, those who are sleep deprived consume about 385 calories more than they normally would per day.
The finding is from a new systemic review and meta-analysis led by researchers at King’s London College who reviewed data from 11 previous small intervention studies.
The researchers found that not only did subjects consume more calories the next day after being sleep deprived, but they also found that the majority of those calories came from foods that were proportionally higher in fat and lower in protein.
The extra 385 calories a day is equivalent to topping off your normal daily diet with four and a half slices of bread, or about one a half slices of pizza, without any additional offset from physical activity.
If sleep loss is a regular occurrence, those extra calories can add up quickly, leading to serious weight gain.
The study authors also suggest that chronic sleep loss could be a driving force of obesity across the country.
Previously, another study showed that sleep deprivation could hinder weight loss or, more specifically, that it can affect proper metabolism.
So what is considered sleep deprivation?
Sleep deprivation defined in the study was getting only three and a half to five hours of sleep per night as compared to the control group that spent seven to 12 hours in bed per night.
Seven to nine hours of sleep is the optimal amount one should get each night, but those who have trouble may need a little help by making better sleep habits and by taking quality supplements of melatonin every night.