Sleep Patterns Influence Weight
(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- A study of middle-aged women revealed weight gain was linked to the amount of sleep they received each night.
Beginning in 1986, a group of 68,183 women was asked every two years about their sleep patterns as well as their weight. The women supplied this information for 16 years.
Women who slept five hours or less each night weighed 5.4 pounds more than women who slept seven hours according to data gathered at the beginning of the study. Those women who slept less also gained more weight in the following years.
Additionally, women who slept five hours per night were found to be 32 percent more likely to have major weight gain than women who slept for seven hours a night. Those who slept for six hours were 12 percent more likely.
"There have been a number of studies that have shown that at one point in time, people who sleep less weigh more, but this is one of the first studies to show reduced sleep increases the risk of gaining weight over time," said Sanjay Patel, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine at Case-Western Reserve University in Cleveland.
The women who slept less were not only more threatened by major weight gain but obesity as well. Compared to women who slept seven hours each night, those who slept five hours were 15 percent more likely to become obese, while those who slept six hours were 12 percent more likely.
Researchers considered other factors throughout the study such as diet and exercise but found them to be little help in providing answers.
Dr. Patel said despite the study's lack of explanations about the cause of weight gain and its relationship to sleep, possibilities remain to be studied such as the correlation of sleep to basal metabolic rate and NEAT (non-exercise associated thermogenesis).
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SOURCE: American Thoracic Society International Conference, San Diego, May 19-24, 2006