Posted in Blog Archive

Posted by abeodbart January 28, 2011 at 9:46 am


“Staying up all night clearly taxes the body, but scientists have only now added up the exact bill. By measuring the actual number of calories the body expends to fuel an all-nighter versus a good night’s sleep, researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulder calculate that a full night of sleep helps the body conserve as much energy as is in a glass of warm milk.

Missing a night of sleep forces the body to burn about an extra 161 calories than it would have during eight hours of sleep (not counting what’s used in moving around while awake), but it’s no weight-loss miracle: The body tries to make up for the deficit by saving more energy than usual the next day and night, researchers report in the January Journal of Physiology.

The measurements, the first to put precise numbers on how much total energy people use in a 24-hour period while asleep, awake or recovering from a night of sleep deprivation, help bolster a theory that an important function of sleep is to save energy (SN: 10/24/09, p. 16).

To measure how much energy people use during sleep in a more rigorous way than has been done before, Kenneth Wright, a physiologist at the University of Colorado, and his colleagues studied seven people. Each of the healthy young volunteers lived inside a sealed room for three days. The volunteers were on bed rest the entire time and ate the same amount of calories at the same time each day. The researchers continually monitored the subject’s brain waves and how much oxygen and carbon dioxide the person breathed in and out. From there, the team could calculate each person’s energy use during each stage of sleep and waking.

“This is a Herculean effort,” neurobiologist Paul Shaw of Washington University in St. Louis says of the study. “This will be the gold standard going forward.””

Read more at Wired (Thanks @XxLadyClaireXx)

January 28, 2011 at 8:36 pm
spiderabc1 says:

So an OCD mass slaughter of dust mites at 3am, a rewarding mars bar and then wiltering during the afternoon is not as good as 7 hours kip, a bowl of porridge and some fresh air. The scientists could always do some more studies based on Old Wives Tales. Still interesting though.

January 29, 2011 at 9:57 am
George says:

I havent slept for three years and I’m fine. Mainly because I would suffocate in my own chins but I’m sure one has nothing to do with the other.

January 30, 2011 at 7:49 pm
Lyvvie says:

HA! They said breastfeeding would make me lose those pregnancy pounds but when they didn’t fall off as promised I called them many rude names. Just figures that hungry, insomniac babies made the weigh loss null!! It’s another cruelty heaped upon mothers!


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