Researchers at Columbia University have discovered something key to our survival: People who are sleep deprived love ice cream.
All joking aside, there IS very important information in the Columbia research. Scientists there were looking into the reasons that people gain more weight when they don’t sleep enough. Here’s a rundown of the study, from an article this week in the USA Today Health section:
They recruited 26 normal-weight men and women who routinely slept between seven and nine hours a night. The participants came into an inpatient hospital-like setting for six days on two different occasions. Half slept four hours a night for six nights. The other half slept for nine hours a night for six nights.
For the first days, the study participants received a portion-controlled diet, but the last two days they could eat as much as they wanted from food they chose themselves. The entire procedure was repeated a second time with people getting a different amount of sleep.
Those participants who were sleep deprived ate an average of nearly 300 calories more per day when they were allowed to eat whatever they wanted. That would certainly explain weight gain. Of the available foods, ice cream was the standout favorite.
Source: USA Today