Less Than 7 Hours of Sleep Can Make You Fat, Recent Study on Obesity Shows

Dec 16, 2015 07:00 AM EST | By J. Navarra

How many hours of sleep are you able to get everyday? Eight hours? Four hours? A recent study shows that sleeping a few hours short could increase the risk of obesity rate in the U.S.

The study defines short sleep as less than seven hours a night. If you're only able to take less than seven hours of sleep a night, the risk of obesity is greater and also increases the consumption of sweetened beverages, sugar-filled drinks and carbonated liquid.

A team of researchers in the University of Alabama gathered data from 28,150 Americans aged between 21 and 56 years old. The data was taken from the 2006 and 2008 American Time Use Survey.

Gabriel Tajeu, one of the researchers and authors of the U.S study explained that shortened sleep is connected with secondary eating and secondary drinking of sweetened drinks. He further explained this study online in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

This potentially suggests a pathway from short sleep to increased caloric intake in the form of beverages and distracted eating and thus potential increased obesity risk, although more research is needed.

Each survey participant included information regarding their sleep patterns which includes the amount of time they sleep every night, as well as primary and secondary eating and drinking habits (which means eating whil engaged in other activities, such as drinking soda while reading a book)

What the researchers found was that those participants who had less than seven hours of sleep were engaged in secondary eating for 28.6 minutes during weekdays and 31.28 minutes on weekends compared to those who reported sleeping normally (between seven to eight hours a night).

Another French study also found that sleeping less than six hours every night exposes the individual to a higher risk of obesity.

The study concluded that poor sleeping habits are connected with an individual's poor eating habits. 

Sleeping lesser than seven hours means it's time to control those midnight snacks and snacking in between meals. Those tasty snacks upset the hormonal balance. It's time to put the sugar away, as reported online.

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