A 16-year long-term research covering around 68,183 U.S middle-aged women has found out that those females who slept for 5 hours or less during night were more likely to gain weight comparing to those who slept for at least 7 hours.
The findings of the study were published in American Journal of Epidemiology and were presented in a medical conference early this year. Dr. Sanjay R. Patel of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland led the research.
Moreover, researchers have found that there was a substantial weight gain with some even gaining 33 pounds or more. The study also stated that the associations between sleep duration and weight gain persisted even after using controlling factors like physical activities and calorie consumption in both groups.
Though the exact reasons for association aren't clear, some research have suggested that sleep deprivation alters the hormones involved in appetite control and metabolism. The weight gain may be because people who sleep for few hours either eat more or exercise less. The participating women reported their habitual sleep durations have resulted in many health hazards especially for thousands of female nurses for the past 30 years.