Monday, 18 May 2009

Not jet lag but fat lag

Long sleepers are slimmer say researchers - and missing out on sleep is linked to a greater risk of obesity.

This is the result of research into the relationship between weight and sleep patterns. It's good news for the serious sleepers, but it's more anxiety for the sleep starved, who now face the prospect of being overweight as well as exhausted.

I'll leave the complex science of all this to the complex scientists - but something mentioned in these reports struck me as very convincing. Loss of sleep leads to comfort eating.

Anyone who has ever worked a night shift or tried to finish off some work through the middle of the night will know the feeling. You're completely exhausted, you're up all night and you're not really hungry, but you suddenly want to eat the most unhealthy food you can find. It's a ridiculous feeling, light-headed with lack of sleep and then stuffing your head with junk food. It's that haywire moment in the middle of the night.

It's like the confusion of messing around with time zones. Except it's not jet lag, but fat lag.

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