Sleeping and Eating Late leads to Weight Gain

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Dec 02, 2011

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Sleeping and eating late can prevent you from getting rid of fat, according to a new study conducted at the Northwestern University.

The study took into consideration the connection between sleep, eating patterns and weight loss. The researcher examined the effect of sleep timings and diet on body mass index (BMI). Results showed that late night snacking and sleeping led to weight gain.


Participants of the study included 25 women and 27 men. For the study, they were divided into two groups - normal and late sleepers. 56 percent of the participants in the study were normal sleepers. Their sleep cycle started shortly after midnight until 8 am. People in the group of normal sleepers reached midnight sleep before 5:30 am. 44 percent of the participants were in the group of late sleepers. They slept after midnight and woke during mid to late morning.

The researcher kept a food log for every participant and a wrist sensor was used to monitor the sleeping and waking activities. This information was later analysed.

Results revealed that, "normal sleepers" and "late sleepers" had different eating schedules throughout the day. Normal sleepers finished eating for the day by 8:30 pm while the late sleepers had their last meal at 10 pm.

  • Generally, normal sleepers had breakfast by 9 a.m., lunch at 1 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m.
  • Late sleepers had their first meal of the day by noon followed by lunch in middle of the afternoon and did not have dinner before 8 p.m.

Study revealed that late sleepers suffered in terms of both the quality and quantity of their daily sleep as well as diet.

  • Late sleepers were found to eat less than the normal sleepers.
  • Group of late sleepers had a poor quality diet when compared with the normal sleepers.
  • Late sleepers ate more junk food, drank more sugar-laden fluids and had fewer vegetables compared with normal sleepers.
  • On an average, late sleepers slept less than normal sleepers. On an average, they slept an hour less than the other group.
  • Normal sleepers consumed less calories at dinner as compared with the late sleepers. Late sleepers consumed more calories after 8 p.m.


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