Going to Bed Late Could Be Making You Fat

Researchers link later bedtimes to increased BMI
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2015 6:30 PM CDT

(Newser) – Want to lower your chances of gaining weight? Then maybe cut out before Jimmy Fallon's opening monologue, according to a new study published in the October issue of Sleep. The New York Times reports researchers looking at more than 3,300 adolescents between 1994 and 2009 found a two-point BMI increase for every hour later a subject stayed up on weeknights. That's a large enough shift to take a person from normal to overweight or overweight to obese, according to CBS News. Even subjects sleeping in longer to make up for going to bed later saw the same kind of BMI increase, the Times reports.

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"Obesity is obviously growing among adolescents and adults, and there's also an epidemic of lack of sleep and later bed time preference in teens," study author and UC Berkeley graduate student Lauren Asarnow tells CBS. According to the study, paying attention to bedtimes could help manage weight gain during the transition between the teen years and adulthood. Asarnow has a couple of theories for the link between later bedtimes and weight gain. "If you're staying up late, you're more likely to be eating junk food late at night," she tells CBS. "People who stay up late are also less likely to eat breakfast, and breakfast skipping is associated with weight gain." (Going to bed earlier could also reduce your anxiety levels.)

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