Do you find yourself staying up late, sleeping in every day and eating after 8 pm? If so, you might be at a significant risk for weight gain. It was found that late sleepers consumed about 248 calories a day, mainly at dinner and later in the evening. These individuals ate half as many fruits and vegetables, twice the amount of fast food and drank more full-calorie sodas than those who had earlier bed times.

By consuming those extra daily calories, it can mean a significant increase in weight gain. With almost two pounds extra a month, people are shown to gain more weight than expected when exercise is also not included. In this study from Northwestern Medicine, 51 participants were followed—23 were late sleepers and 28 were normal sleepers with the average age of 30 years old.

The late sleepers went to sleep at an average time of 3:45 a.m. and woke up by 10:45 a.m. and ate breakfast at noon, lunch at 2:30 pm, dinner at 8:15 pm and a final meal at 10 pm. Normal sleepers on average were up by 8:00 am, ate breakfast by 9 am, lunch at 1 pm, dinner at 7 pm, a last snack at 8:30 pm and were asleep by 12:30 am.

In addition to the number of calories consumed each day, the timing was important. Those who ate after 8:00 pm were more likely to have a higher BMI, even after controlling for sleep timing and duration. These findings were relevant to people who are not very successful in losing weight.

Losing Weight

In order to maintain your health, it is important to lose weight—this is especially true if you currently suffer from sleep apnea, too. Weight loss plans should be tailored to your current health needs, medications and lifestyle. If you are also experiencing joint pain and inability to move hydrotherapy might work well. By exercising in water it can help make it easier for mobility despite high body mass index, arthritic hips and knees.

Please contact Craniofacial Pain & Dental Sleep Center for more information on sleep apnea, weight loss and what you can do to lose weight and improve your overall health.