Burning calories is not just about exercising and right diet. Researchers have found that going without sleep for a night also helps in shedding flab.
Previous studies have linked lack of sleep to weight gain, but according to recent study published in the 'Journal of Physiology,' losing a night's sleep burns as many as 135 calories.
Lead researcher Kenneth Wright, an associate professor at CU, stated in a press release, “We found that people do expend more energy when they are awake in bed than when they are asleep.”
"The results aren't so much full of take-home advice for the public but rather a starting point for other research based on what was found.”--Dr. Robert Eckel, Colorado University School of Medicine professor and co-investigator in the study
7 people studied
In a first-of-kind study to find out how much energy humans expend while sleeping, the researchers at the Colorado’s Sleep and Chronobiology Laboratory studied seven people.
The participants stayed for three days in a 100-square-foot room which had a bed, television and a small bathroom.
The study subjects stayed awake for 16 hours and then slept for eight hours. Later, they had 40 hours of sleep deprivation. During this time they talked, read, and watched movies. This was followed by eight hours of sleep.
During this time, the researchers measured the types of energy participants were burning, and their oxygen intake.
Losing a night's sleep equivalent to 2 mile walk
Analyzing the subjects, they found that young adults used 7 percent more energy when they were deprived of sleep for 40 hours.
"While the amount of energy savings for humans during sleep may seem relatively small, it actually was a little more than we expected," stated Prof. Wright.
Researchers added that people who lose a night's sleep burn same amount of energy as a two mile walk.
"The amount of energy storage needed to explain the obesity epidemic is 50 calories a day, so the finding is meaningful," added Prof. Wright.
Sleep deprivation not effective way to shed flab
Though going without sleep helps in burning fat, it should be inferred that sleepless deprivation is the right way to shed flab.
Researchers have stressed that “sleep deprivation is neither a safe or effective strategy for weight loss”.
It can have serious implications specifically for people who are suffering from sleep disorders like insomnia or sleep apnea.
"The results aren't so much full of take-home advice for the public but rather a starting point for other research based on what was found,” warned Dr. Robert Eckel, a CU School of Medicine professor and co-investigator in the study.