Not getting enough rest can cause a lot more damage than you might think. Not only does an insufficient amount of sleep affect your ability to perform the next day and make you look older, it can cause even the healthiest individuals to gain weight.
A study by the University of Pennsylvania found that your chances of gaining weight is significantly higher if you do not get enough sleep. This may not come as "breaking news," but the thing that makes this study so important is that it was the largest controlled study of sleeping habits of people who were healthy and non-obese to date.
The University of Pennsylvania's study involved 225 people between the ages of 22 and 50 that stayed in a sleep lab for up to 18 days to be researched. The participants were randomly divided into two separate groups. One group slept from 4am to 8am and the other group slept from 10pm to 8am. All participants were fed meals at the same time every day and were also given access to a fully stocked kitchen. They were not allowed to exercise and could only do sedentary activities.
What the researchers of the study found was that the sleep-deprived participants consumed more calories overall and ate meals that had a higher fat content late at night. They also found that men gained more weight than women.
But this study does not mean that just by getting some extra beauty sleep you'll be able to lose weight. Experts say that incorporating a sleep schedule into an overall weight loss program will help you to achieve a healthier weight.
So when thinking about a healthy diet and exercise regime, don't forget the importance of enough shut eye!