According to Dr Christian Bennett, a Neuroscientist from Sweden’s Uppsala University, sleep habits and weight may be linked.
“The study suggests that sleep loss leads to weight gain in humans,” said Dr Bennett.
“It may also be concluded that improving sleep could be a promising lifestyle intervention to prevent future weight gain.”
Dr Bennett and his team conducted studies investigating the effects sleep deprivation had on energy levels and eating habits.
The results revealed that sleep deprived adults crave larger food portions, a greater number of calories, and are more likely to eat on impulse.
“Since unsettled sleep is such a common feature of modern life, these studies show it is no surprise that metabolic disorders, such as obesity are also on the rise,” said Dr Bennett.
If a lack of sleep affects our eating habits, how much sleep should we be getting a day?
In an interview with femail.com.au, Dr Sarah Blunden from the Australasian Sleep Association, says the amount of sleep an adult requires depends on their lifestyle.
“There are no rules as to what we need; we don’t actually know what we need, but what we know is that when we don’t get it we have consequences,” said Dr Blunden.
“Studies have shown that most adults need between seven and nine hours sleep.
“Humans are very resilient: we can survive for quite a while on less sleep than we actually need.
“It is a question of how well we are doing and how well our bodies and our minds are functioning.”
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare states that two in every three Australian adults, and one in four children, are overweight, which could mean a lot of Australian’s aren’t getting a good night’s sleep.
Dr Blunden said that those concerned about their sleeping habits should see their doctor.
“The main thing is to find out where this is coming from,” she said.
“If there is nothing medical going on, then maybe it is stress-related.
“They may have high stress or worry levels, which can lead to an inability to relax and insomnia.”
Article was originally published on ECUDaily.com.au