TIME: No sleep=overweight and depressed

Well, what a coincidence. I’ve been going on and on about my sleep issues, and yesterday, TIME magazine posted an article titled Lack of sleep linked to depression, weight gain, and even death by Meredith Melnick.

Here’s an excerpt:

In another study in Sleep, University of Sydney researchers focused on adolescents and young adults who weren’t getting enough sleep — an increasingly common problem among the digital generation, who stays up late plugged into their computers and smart phones. Turns out, burning the midnight oil can have long-term consequences. Researchers found that for each hour of lost sleep, levels of psychological distress rose by 5% in nearly 3,000 17-to-24-year-olds who were followed for 12 to 18 months. Overall, short sleepers were 14% more likely to report symptoms of psychological distress on a standard test, compared with people who got adequate sleep. The effect was especially pronounced among young people who already suffered from anxiety; in this group, lack of sleep triggered more serious mental health problems like full-blown depression and even bipolar disorder, according to the study’s lead author, Professor Nick Glozier. But even among those who began the study in good health, less than five hours of sleep meant tripling their odds of psychological distress.

A third Sleep study this week found that teens who didn’t get enough z’s consumed more calories than their well-rested peers. The study of 240 adolescents, average age 18, revealed that teenagers who slept less than 8 hours a night on weeknights ate 2% more calories from fat per day and 3% more calories from carbs than teens who slept longer. They also tended to get their calories from snacks instead of healthful meals. Cumulatively, this behavior increases the risk of obesity and, in turn, the chances of developing cardiovascular disease later in life.

Wow. Now that I’m looking at these empirical results, I really need to get serious about getting my sleep schedule straighten out. Depression and weight gain are not what I need in my life. 

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