Are You a Night Owl? Late Sleeper? Your Sleeping Habits Might be Packing on Pounds

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According to research done at Northwestern University and appearing in the journal Obesity, “People who go to bed late and sleep late eat more calories in the evening, more fast food, fewer fruits and vegetables and weigh more than people who go to sleep earlier and wake up earlier.”

In fact, according to the researchers, late sleepers consumed 248 more calories a day. “The study included 51 people (23 late sleepers and 28 normal sleepers) who were an average age of 30. Late sleepers went to sleep at an average time of 3:45 a.m., awoke by 10:45 a.m., ate breakfast at noon, lunch at 2:30 p.m., dinner at 8:15 p.m. and a final meal at 10 p.m. Normal sleepers on average were up by 8 a.m., ate breakfast by 9 a.m., lunch at 1 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m., a last snack at 8:30 p.m. and were asleep by 12:30 a.m.”

The researchers state that “Human circadian rhythms in sleep and metabolism are synchronized to the daily rotation of the Earth, so that when the sun goes down you are supposed to be sleeping, not eating. When sleep and eating are not aligned with the body’s internal clock, it can lead to changes in appetite and metabolism, which could lead to weight gain.”

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