Late in the night and less sleep can bring host of diseases and worst outcome for teens.
Sleep-Deprived Teens Eat More Fat, Study Finds
WEDNESDAY, Sept. 1 (HealthDay News) — Teens who sleep less than eight hours a night are more likely to eat a high-fat diet that puts them at risk for obesity and the many health problems connected with it, new research shows.
The study, published in the Sept. 1 issue of the journal Sleep, found that these sleep-deprived teens consumed 2.2 percent more calories from fat, and ate more snacks than those who slept eight hours or more a night. They also ate more total calories.
Teens need about nine hours of sleep every night to feel rested and alert the next day, but few teens get that amount, experts said.
In addition to being a possible cause of metabolic problems, fewer hours of sleep provided teens with “more opportunities to eat,” Redline said.
Metabolism is the body’s process for turning calories into energy. Lack of sleep can affect metabolism by changing the level of appetite-regulating hormones like leptin and ghrelin, setting the stage for poor eating habits, Redline explained.
Redline, a professor of medicine with the school’s division of sleep medicine, said sleep-deprived teens may suffer from metabolic disturbances that have been linked to obesity and insulin resistance in other research with shift workers whose sleep was also irregular.
Elbirt said that while the “prevailing view is that a calorie is a calorie,” there is some evidence that calories from fat are more likely to be metabolized into more stored fat. Also, the more fat you eat, the more you crave, she said.
Teens are also “phase-delayed” according to the study, meaning that their circadian rhythm is shifted in a way that makes them alert at night and sleepy in the morning, eating into the night hours.
And because school starts early for most teens, they tend not to get the sleep they need, experts said.
“All of us have a clock system inside us and it keeps 24-hour time,” said Dr. Kenneth P. Wright Jr., an associate professor of integrative physiology at the University of Colorado in Boulder. “In adolescence, this system changes, and it drives a lot of our behaviors, like when we sleep.”
Wright, at the school’s Center for Neuroscience, likened adolescents to people “on the East Coast, living on a West Coast time” clock.
Teens who slept less than eight hours a night consumed, on average, 1,968 calories a day. Those who slept eight hours or more averaged 1,723 calories a day. The teens slept a little less than an average of eight hours a night. Only 34 percent of the participants slept eight hours or more.
SOURCES: Susan Redline, M.D., M.P.H., professor, medicine, division of sleep medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston; Paula Elbirt, M.D., associate professor and attending physician, division of pediatric and adolescent medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital and School of Medicine, New York City; Kenneth P. Wright Jr., Ph.D, associate professor, integrative physiology, Center for Neuroscience, University of Colorado at Boulder; Sept. 1, 2010, Sleep