The teens were split into two groups - those who got about six and a half hours of sleep a night and those who averaged around nine hours of sleep. And while both groups consumed about the same number of calories, it turns out there was a big difference in what they ate:
- The short sleepers consumed more foods high in carbs and added sugar, and sugary drinks, than the group snoozing nine plus hours.
- They tend to go for the sweet stuff later in the evening and researchers say they gravitate toward these foods to get a quick burst of energy to make up for being tired from a lack of sleep.
“Basically, getting less sleep caused them to eat more junk,” explains lead study authorKaraDuraccio. And on top of that, the study finds the teens getting less sleep also ate fewer fruits and veggies during the day than the healthy sleep group. The study finds that the short sleep group ate an extra 12 grams of sugar a day, and if they did that during each of the 180 school days a year, they’d end up with more than 4.5-pounds of extra sugar a year! As a result, researchers warn that insufficient sleep can increase the risk of weight gain and Duraccio says getting enough and well-timed sleep should be a strategy to prevent obesity.
Source:Eat This, Not That