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La fame aumenta quando manca il sonno

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If you do not get enough sleep, you are likely to eat more. The indication comes from a study that appeared in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, whose results reinforce previous evidence that sleep affects the neurophysiological mechanisms that regulate feelings of hunger and energy balance. The new investigation, which involved 22 healthy individuals (average age: 22 /- 3 years; BMI: 22.30 /- 1.83 kg/m²), involved two sessions lasting 48 hours. During the first night of each session, the participants slept for eight hours (from midnight to 8) or four hours (from 2 to 6). Bread with butter and jam for breakfast, a buffet lunch and a free dinner menu were then made available to participants who were able to eat without any restrictions. At this point, the following were measured: physical activity, feeling of hunger and fullness, desire for specific foods and feeling of sleepiness. Compared to those who slept eight hours, those with only four hours of sleep had a calorie intake 22% higher a day after the restriction, and were hungrier at both breakfast and dinner. Although sleep deprivation led to an increase in physical activity, the most marked difference compared to those who slept longer involved increased feelings of sleepiness. “Measurements of long-term energy expenditure will help to clarify whether lack of sleep can be considered a risk factor for obesity” the authors conclude.

(source: Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Mar 31.)

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