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Science

'Social Jetlag' May Be Making You Fat 197

Posted by timothy
from the it-certainly-is-making-me-dopey dept.
sciencehabit writes "A new study suggests that, by disrupting your body's normal rhythms, your alarm clock could be making you overweight. The study concerns a phenomenon called 'social jetlag.' That's the extent to which our natural sleep patterns are out of synch with our school or work schedules. When we wake up earlier than we're supposed to — or spend all weekend sleeping in and then get up at 6 am on Monday — it makes our body feel like it's spending the weekend in one time zone and the week in another. For people who are already on the heavy side, greater social jet lag corresponds to greater body weight."
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'Social Jetlag' May Be Making You Fat

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  • Thank God! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 10, 2012 @01:16PM (#39957557)

    Thank God! All this time I thought it was the Coke and Fritos doing it to me!

    • There's not much else I can say but this...

      The lack of attention to the rise in obesity since america got hooked on corn syrup is astounding to me. Sure some of us are less active, but bring in the ease of use of the internet, and the 500 channels of nothing to watch on TV, and you get an excellent equation for a fat country.
  • by Defenestrar (1773808) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @01:17PM (#39957567)
    And here I thought it was staying up late (and eating snacks) while doing things online with friends in a different time zone.
  • by Githaron (2462596) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @01:18PM (#39957571)
    If your biological schedule doesn't match up with the rest of your area, it will be hard to find a job that matches your schedule. All I can do is watch my weight and eat/exercise accordingly.
    • by CastrTroy (595695) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @01:36PM (#39957811) Homepage
      Actually, there is something you can do about it. Keep the same schedule on the weekends that you do during the week. And ensure you get enough sleep every night. The problem as described in the summary is that people will stay up late and sleep in on the weekends, but will go to be early and get up early on the weekdays. The problem isn't some "biological schedule" it's that your schedule changes between the weekends and the weekdays. Your body can't adjust fast enough.
      • Good luck with trying that. Let me know how it goes for you. It's never going to happen for me.
      • by Anrego (830717) * on Thursday May 10, 2012 @01:50PM (#39957977)

        Yup.

        Made a comment about this below. I used to run through the week on 4 or 5 hours a night, then crash on the weekends. It's tough to do, but if you force yourself to get a decent amount of sleep through the week, and cut back on the sleeping in (I still do sleep in a few hours.. ) it makes a huge difference. It's hard to give up that extra "winding down" time at the end of the day.. but not feeling like a zombie all the time is worth it.

      • by Githaron (2462596)
        My biological schedule doesn't change between weekends and weekdays. It stays the same. The only difference is that I am forced to fight my biological schedule on weekdays and I am not on weekends. Also, before anyone says it, my body will not get used to a new schedule if I stick to it long enough. I have tried multiple times in my life and failed. I simply do not function at 100% in the mornings. My mind also does not want to turn off until between 12:00am to 2:00am. It is a fight to get up and a fight to
      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        My samplle set of one (yeah, I know) confirms that. I usually wake up before the clock goes off and get up about the same time on weekends, and I'm actually a little underweight (that's mostly genetic, though). Maybe I should start staying up late and make it up on the weekends so I can gain?

        Nah, screw it, if I don't get enough sleep I'm irratable and my brain doesn't function as well.

      • by Terrasque (796014) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @04:47PM (#39959775) Homepage Journal

        Delayed sleep phase disorder [wikipedia.org]

        Yeah, it's exactly what it sounds like. My natural sleeping pattern makes me go to bed around 3-4am. And sleep for ~8-9 hours. And no, just waking early in the weekend does not help. This has been going on since before I started school, and nothing tried the last 20 years have changed that one bit.

        I'm tired of friends and complete strangers saying stuff like "Just change your rhythm" or "You're just lazy, I did it just fine!" - I have tried, it Does Not Help. It does not change a thing.

        In fact, the disorder is sometimes referred to as "social jet lag" - it might even be the exact disorder the article is hinting at.

        Your comment sounds like an asshole seeing a guy in wheelchair, and saying "He's just lazy. Look, I can walk just fine, and so can my friends!"

        • by CastrTroy (595695)
          Sounds like you may have real medical condition, that is rare but difficult to live with. What the article (as far as I can tell from the summary, who reads the articles?) is saying is that people who have differing sleep schedules between weekends and weekdays suffer a type of jet lag because it is as if they are trying to switch timezones twice a week, ever week. This plays havoc with your natural rhythm, regardless of what your rhythm is. Rather it's go to sleep at 4 am and wake up at noon, or go to sl
      • by mikael_j (106439)

        Well, if work hours weren't dictated by religious morality and when people used to get out of bed back when large portions of the population were sustenance farmers maybe most people wouldn't feel the need to switch between their "weekday schedule" and what they're actually comfortable with.

        Of course, on top of that there's the issue of electric lighting (I've had a long-running plan to automate all the lights in my home so that they dim and brighten based on the time of day to deal with this, I've tried a

    • by jeffmeden (135043) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @01:51PM (#39957987) Homepage Journal

      If your biological schedule doesn't match up with the rest of your area, it will be hard to find a job that matches your schedule. All I can do is watch my weight and eat/exercise accordingly.

      Controlling when you sleep (making it consistent) and when you are exposed to bright light (again, consistency PLUS avoiding it 3 hours before bed time) will get you on track without a heroic effort, unless of course you work a non-traditional shift like 8pm-5am and can't avoid being awake from 5am to 1pm on some days (if you are in the rhythm to sleep those hours 7 days a week you can get along just fine). That kind of schedule swing is a serious bitch.

      • I don't think your advice is consistent with this article; sleep is incredibly important, and we did NOT evolve to sleep as little as possible on a rigid basis. Our bodies have varying requirements as they react and adjust to the insults life inflicts (or we do). To think waking and rising each day at the same time (if you even can without modern drugs!) is healthy is about as smart as refusing to breathe deeply when you run.

        I hate the typical corporate america attitude for just for this life-shortening idi

    • Just do it (Score:5, Insightful)

      by digitalaudiorock (1130835) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @01:51PM (#39957991)

      The news is way too full of all these studies etc that just seem to distract from the simple truth that you just plain must exercise...vigorously, and regularly...period. I'm so sick of everything I keep hearing...like all this new stuff about how horrific it is that I sit down at my job. Give me a break...and don't get me started about all these recommendations regarding walking. The main reason people have for not exercising it not having time, and walking...in addition to being neither a good cardie-vascular workout, or a good strength training workout...is the worst bang for your buck timewise. I have the aerobic fitness of someone 30 years younger than I...can do 100 pushups, and have about 10% body fat (at 58)...and I don't kill myself working out either...a total of about 5 hours a week...20 minutes of intense aerobics three times a week and extensive weight training twice a week.

      Way, way too much bullshit getting thrown around...just do it!

      • Mod parent up. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by John Hasler (414242)
        Conventional exercise recommendations are not based on what is best for you. They are based on what the physiologists think they have any hope of getting you to do, on the theory that anything is better than nothing.

        Get out there and run.
        • Get out there and run.

          Amen. For a long time I used my Concept 2 indoor rower religiously...great workout that you can do year round. Lately I've been doing this: I hold a pair of 20 pound weights and step up to the second step of my basement stairs and then back down...switching which leg I lead with every 10 steps. Last count I was doing 460 of those in 20 minutes...the equivalent of carrying 40 pound up and down 76 flights in 20 minutes...that does the job!

          • I hold a pair of 20 pound weights and step up to the second step of my basement stairs and then back down

            Getting out of your parents' basement... you're doing it wrong.

      • Re:Just do it (Score:5, Insightful)

        by osu-neko (2604) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @02:03PM (#39958117)

        The news is way too full of all these studies etc that just seem to distract from the simple truth that you just plain must exercise...vigorously, and regularly...period.

        Yes, you must exercise. All these other studies, however, are additional information, and not distractions, and leave you better informed, not worse, unless you're simply too simpleminded to comprehend the idea that there might be more than a couple factors involved. Saying your schedule plays a factor does not in any way contradict or detract from the fact that exercise is the biggest factor. Useful information, not distraction...

      • Re:Just do it (Score:4, Interesting)

        by dgatwood (11270) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @02:46PM (#39958575) Journal

        The problem is that most people don't get enough exercise for the same reason that they don't get enough sleep—there aren't enough hours in the day. I would kill to be able to carve out an extra five hours a week for aerobic exercise. However, that would mean giving up either my job, giving up sleep, giving up (at least) one of my hobbies, or never watching another minute of TV for the rest of my life.

        By contrast, I can walk on a treadmill while I'm watching TV (a pair of extreme isolation headphones helps), which means I don't have to give up other activities to do it. That makes it the best bang for my buck, time-wise.

        • Re:Just do it (Score:4, Insightful)

          by CraftyJack (1031736) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @03:19PM (#39958939)

          I would kill to be able to carve out an extra five hours a week for aerobic exercise. However, that would mean giving up either my job, giving up sleep, giving up (at least) one of my hobbies, or never watching another minute of TV for the rest of my life.

          Everybody is busy. It's a question of priorities. For you, exercise ranks below all of the things you mention there. For me, it ranks above TV, and it counts as a hobby. I have enough fat relatives to have a good idea of what will happen if I don't stay active, and it isn't pretty.

          • by mcsqueak (1043736)

            Everybody is busy. It's a question of priorities. For you, exercise ranks below all of the things you mention there. For me, it ranks above TV, and it counts as a hobby. I have enough fat relatives to have a good idea of what will happen if I don't stay active, and it isn't pretty.

            This is the secret that I think separates those who enjoy exercise from those who don't: those who enjoy it have somehow managed to find a form of exercise that they have turned into a hobby. It is not not just done for the end results and benefit, but also for the fun of doing the activity itself.

            For me, it's cycling. I LOVE to be out riding my bike, so exercising isn't a chore, it's a hobby and to be honest somewhat of a lifestyle.

            As an example, in April I cycled 27 hours for a total of distance 361 miles

      • Someone gave me a Troll modifier for this post...WTF??? Don't blame me if your laziness makes my post somehow sound insulting...jeezzz...
  • Yeah sure (Score:4, Informative)

    by doston (2372830) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @01:20PM (#39957605)
    Has nothing to do with the italian grinder you went to bed on, just the rhythmic imbalance. Fix that, change nothing else and the fat will literally melt away. Articles like this pander to the ever expanding population of morbidly obese...probably consciously. Editor's meeting: "Write more stories fat people will like, since everybody's fat".
    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      Not "everybody" is fat (overweight or obese). Just 90% of Americans over age 30... that's not so bad.

      • Well, the definition for fat/obese is a bit off... You're typical athlete is most likely in the overweight/obese category, despite being more healthy than average.
    • Re:Yeah sure (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @01:51PM (#39957983)

      You are correct.

      Look, there's only one way to lose the weight, and that's this:

      Eat less and exercise more.

      I know, it's impossible, right? Well, I started out being unable to bike to the end of the block and weighing a dangerous 250 pounds. I ate crap all the time -- working in a mall I'd often eat NYF poutine, a donair, and an Orange Julius for lunch. I didn't get much exercise. I'd also eat a chocolate bar every single day. The odds were against me and the situation was grim.

      I kept on the bike though. I biked to school, eventually got all the way (2km!) without a rest, biked all the way through school, and biked to work once I graduated (B.Eng.). I still bike to work.

      In addition to that, I did thousands of pushups on the Wii Fit, pulling a lot of weight from my gut and putting muscle onto my chest. I changed my diet, eating a lot more fruit and veggies and cutting out a lot of the chocolate and fast foods. I still eat treats, and lots of them, but nowhere near what I used to scarf down. I drink mostly water, with some sodas as an rare treat.

      Now I weigh 160 pounds, 10% BF, and teach spin classes. The only real problem is that my wife isn't happy with my fitness; she's pretty insecure about it.

      • Re:Yeah sure (Score:5, Insightful)

        by doston (2372830) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @02:28PM (#39958377)

        You are correct.

        Look, there's only one way to lose the weight, and that's this:

        Eat less and exercise more.

        I know, it's impossible, right? Well, I started out being unable to bike to the end of the block and weighing a dangerous 250 pounds. I ate crap all the time -- working in a mall I'd often eat NYF poutine, a donair, and an Orange Julius for lunch. I didn't get much exercise. I'd also eat a chocolate bar every single day. The odds were against me and the situation was grim.

        I kept on the bike though. I biked to school, eventually got all the way (2km!) without a rest, biked all the way through school, and biked to work once I graduated (B.Eng.). I still bike to work.

        In addition to that, I did thousands of pushups on the Wii Fit, pulling a lot of weight from my gut and putting muscle onto my chest. I changed my diet, eating a lot more fruit and veggies and cutting out a lot of the chocolate and fast foods. I still eat treats, and lots of them, but nowhere near what I used to scarf down. I drink mostly water, with some sodas as an rare treat.

        Now I weigh 160 pounds, 10% BF, and teach spin classes. The only real problem is that my wife isn't happy with my fitness; she's pretty insecure about it.

        I knew a guy like that when I worked at AT&T wireless. He was probably 300 lbs when we worked together, but he transferred from engineering to IT. I didn't see him for a couple of years. Ran into him again and I didn't even recognize him. He went from this just lump of cottage cheese to a literal marathon runner. Never seen anything like it in my life. It's super rare and I (of course) have a theory about it. I think he (and probably you) were likely natural athletes and for whatever reason (life happening, depression) got caught in a rut. You're probably just being yourself. Who knows though. You probbaly have a theory of your own on what motivated you. Fear? A diabetes diagnosis? Your wife is right to be insecure about your fitness, if she isn't fit. I'd join in, if I were her; it's like having a live-in life coach.

        • by manu0601 (2221348)

          Eat less and exercise more.

          I agree for exercice, but for nutrition, there is no need to eat less. You can start eating better food. Less high glycemic index carbohydrates, no trans fats, more fruits and vegetables.

      • Re:Yeah sure (Score:5, Informative)

        by eulernet (1132389) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @02:28PM (#39958387)

        Another suggestion: eat slowly !

        We eat tons of food without even realizing.
        The satiety comes after a few moments eating, and it differs from people to another one.

        Eating in the shortest amount of time doesn't allow the satiety mechanisms do their job.

      • by jdavidb (449077)

        The only real problem is that my wife isn't happy with my fitness; she's pretty insecure about it.

        What does that mean, exactly? She is worried you are fit enough to leave her for a "better offer" or something?

        Do you flirt with women at the gym? Act really friendly with women in your classes? Gyms are really bad for some people in terms of extramarital relationships. My wife and I go to the gym together and don't get into friendships that don't involve each other. And she loves the resulting increase in fitness! (For both of us.)

        There may be some behavioral changes you can make that would give her

      • Re:Yeah sure (Score:5, Informative)

        by Dripdry (1062282) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @02:33PM (#39958459) Journal

        Actually, that's not entirely true.

        A lot of the science now is showing that eat less/exercise more doesn't produce much in terms of results over the long term.
        There have been studies done on eating less/deprivation, and the repeatedly conclude that it's bad. In extreme cases, of course (like eating a pound of bacon at each meal) there is room to cut back, but in general the whole idea of introducing fewer calories may not be the cure-all many think it is.

        Obesity is actually a sign that we're not giving our body the nutrients it needs, so it stores fat. So eating better (read: more nutritious food) is likely to fix things more easily. Of course, exercise isn't bad or anything, it's just not a cure-all.

        • by Immerman (2627577) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @05:06PM (#39959997)

          There is a bit of a sliding scale involved - as you lose weight you have less body mass to maintain so your BMR will drop. Likewise when operating in a calorie shortage for prolonged periods your body will adapt, getting more efficient and reducing the number of calories necessary to accomplish the same tasks, as well as being more aggressive about storing excess calories. Net result is that at a given calorie+exertion level you will at first lose weight, then plateau, and maybe even start to rebound. The solution, obviously, is you need to periodically update your plan slightly, either cutting more calories or burning them, until you stabilize within an acceptable range.

          The basic fact though is that 3000 Calories ~= 1lb of fat, that's chemistry. If you eat 100 calories less than you burn every day you MUST lose about a pound a month, that energy has to come from somewhere. The trick is to cut calories without cutting food and nutrients, which can be tricky if you need to do more than cut out the obvious junk food. Staying away from processed foods and eating lots of high-fiber alternatives can make that a lot easier - make your body have to work as much as possible for each calorie, and fiber has added the advantage that ~30% of the calories are in a form our bodies can't digest. Raw foods in general help too - we've evolved to let fire do some or digesting for us, breaking down complex starches into simpler things we can digest more easily - cooking can boost the human-accessible calories by 20-30%. If you're really desperate I suppose you could even start eating a lot of grass and sawdust - our bodies can't really process cellulose at all.

          There's also the problem of maintaining enough energy to keep exerting yourself when operating in a calorie deficit. Cutting back on fat can help, since your body normally burns a 50/50 blend of fat and carbs, and if you runs low on carbs you hit "The Wall" that endurance athletes speak of and your body doesn't like operating there and it takes serious willpower to keep going. The fact that it also rapidly switches to burning 90+% carbs for the first half-hour or so when you're strenuously exerting yourself doesn't help with the exercising either, at least not if trying to burn fat.

          And there are also certain long-term penalties for having been overweight - your body has special fat cells for storing fat, sort of like mini fuel tanks. When they fill up you grow more cells to handle the excess. However, when losing weight the cells don't die off, at least not quickly, they just all run nearer empty, and are more prone to filling up again. Remember these things evolved to help us survive through winter, famines, etc, if they're empty your body gets "worried" - obviously you needed them at some point in the past or they wouldn't have grown, if they're nearly empty then the next crisis to hit could kill you.

          Finally there's the personal variations in metabolism - some people just don't store much fat even when consistently overeating, while others seem to store every spare calorie. The latter was no doubt a great survival trait once upon a time, but makes maintaining a health weight a real challenge in a world of plenty.

          • 3000 calories is only 1lb of fat when all of it is actually digested by the body. If I eat a whole pot of peanut butter right now I can guarantee you that I will just excrete almost all of it. So the notion that if you eat 100 cal less you will lose a pound in a month is simply wrong. The balance between the amount of calories burnt and the amount of calories extracted from the food we eat is very delicate and hard to influence (largely dependent on genetics), hence the problems people are having with losin
    • by Culture20 (968837)

      Has nothing to do with the italian grinder you went to bed on

      How does dating an Italian woman equate to getting fat? Not all of them cook well!

      • by Chrisq (894406)

        Has nothing to do with the italian grinder you went to bed on

        How does dating an Italian woman equate to getting fat? Not all of them cook well!

        Besides, when she grinds your salami it helps you lose weight.

    • Disrupt your normal sleeping patterns and you feel lethargic. Feel lethargic and you don't engage in normal activities and you start taking shortcuts (ordering in rather than cooking). I just finished a semester of 4-5 hours sleep time and zero exercise and I feel like a new man now that I'm getting a decent amount of sleep.

  • by Shoten (260439) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @01:21PM (#39957621)

    From the article:

    Previous work with such data has already yielded some clues. "We have shown that if you live against your body clock, you're more likely to smoke, to drink alcohol, and drink far more coffee," says Roenneberg.

    From the slashdot post:
    "or spend all weekend sleeping in and then get up at 6 am on Monday"

    These look to me like behaviors of people who don't take care of themselves and/or who are lazy/inactive. I don't see how sleep is the cause. It makes more sense to me that it'd be the other way around...that inactivity tends to help cause obesity, and also correlates with sleeping in whenever you can, for example.

    • by Anrego (830717) * on Thursday May 10, 2012 @01:30PM (#39957737)

      I think it's more the behavior of people who grind away on 4 or 5 hours sleep a night through the week then crash on the weekend. I used to be one of them. When I forced myself into getting more sleep through the week, I noticed a huge difference in how I felt and how much energy I had. Also weekends are much more enjoyable when you get up at 10 (so still sleeping in for a few hours) and feel great vice waking up at 2am and feeling groggy.

      If anyone is in the same place I was, I seriously recommend trying it. Set a consistent bed time. It's well worth losing a few hours of "minecraft time" for the extra energy (and probably health benifits). At the very least try it for a week.

      • I'll vouch for that. I just wrote a post about how different I feel after a semester of 4-5 hours of sleep (and crashing on weekends). Any idiot with a nice normal schedule can bag on the general population for having to catch up on sleep on the weekends.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DerekLyons (302214)

      These look to me like behaviors of people who don't take care of themselves and/or who are lazy/inactive.

      Yeah. Despite decades of research showing that poor sleep patterns can effect your health... it's all about the lazy people.

      It makes more sense to me that it'd be the other way around...that inactivity tends to help cause obesity, and also correlates with sleeping in whenever you can, for example.

      Does inactivity correlate with sleeping in? Get back to me with your cites and studies.

    • by Znork (31774)

      People have biological clocks that vary which they'll tend to fall into if they have no outside cues. These can be up towards 25-26 hours per day. Most people are sensitive enough to daylight to adjust (if you live in a place where daylight is actually a useful cue), some adjust by syncing to a habit.

      But for some people the biological clock doesn't sync on day or the yearly variation in solar cycle messes with the sensitivity, nor does the habit work. Instead keeping a stable cycle means having constant jet

    • I might argue that it's a self-reenforcing vicious cycle. You don't take care of yourself, which means you don't have energy. You don't have energy, and so you don't take care of yourself. This can happen in a few different ways. If you stay up late, maybe you're more likely to have late-night snacks. Maybe the reason you stay up late is because you're out living a lifestyle that's not physically healthy. Maybe the fact that you're unhealthy means you're more likely to have trouble sleeping.

      In any ca

  • by 0racle (667029) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @01:29PM (#39957725)
    What's going on here? The url says slashdot but the summary looks like cosmo.
  • No alarm clock here (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cpu6502 (1960974) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @01:30PM (#39957735)

    The buttons on my clock stopped working ~11 years ago, and I never bothered to replace the clock. So now I just wake up when I wake up. My internal clock is pretty reliable, waking me between 5 and 6 am each morning. (Assuming I go to bed at a decent hour like 9 or 10..... if I stay up late then naturally I sleep late.)

    • by BennyB2k4 (799512)
      That only works if your body's natural clock is fairly close to 24h and your rhythm can sync in with the clock. I think average is around 24.5h. I'm in around the 25h mark. I can sync with 24h for a few days, but if I leave it natural I'll add an hour every day (vacation or on flex time).
      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        I think it has less to do with the 24 hour clock, and more to do with the 8 hour clock (how long you sleep). If I go to bed at 10pm, I wake up 8 hours later... in time for work But if I go to bed at 8pm, then I still wake up 8 hours later (4am) and have two hours to kill at home.

      • by ArsonSmith (13997) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @01:48PM (#39957945) Journal

        I noticed this after I had an accident as was in recovery for about 9 months. I noticed my best feelings were if I was on a ~30 hour day with 10 hours of sleep and 20 hours of awake doing stuff. Still wish I could go back to that schedule.

        • by shiftless (410350)

          I'm sort of the same way. I am self employed and isolated and my schedule is pretty much free to drift freely. I too find myself staying up a few hours later, then sleeping a couple hours later, resulting in a greater than 24 hour schedule. The only disadvantage to it really is the fact that I live in a small town where all the businesses close early. In a big city I could totally stay on this schedule indefinitely.

    • by KhabaLox (1906148)

      Same here. Ever since our kids started sleeping through the night (about 2.5 years ago), my wife and I don't usually have a problem waking up at pretty close to 6 every day (weekends included). Our two toddlers (3 and 4) usually come into our room and climb in bed between 5 and 6. The younger falls asleep again easily, and can sleep through until 7, while the other is itching to get out of bed (but we make him stay until 6).

  • I don't get enough sleep during the week, so I drink a lot of sugary, caffeinated beverages at times to keep me awake at my desk job. That's not healthy, I know. However, I also take decently good multivitamins, cut out caffeine and switch to water by mid-afternoon, work out regularly following a personal trainer's advice, and tend to eat intelligently at mealtimes. I don't eat chips, popcorn, candy, cookies, or whatever else during the day.

    This is what works for me, and I'm quite fit by any account. Right

  • This is crap. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Daryen (1138567) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @01:57PM (#39958053)

    Your weight is a result of calories in vs. calories out.

    Nothing else.

    Yes, disrupting your sleep patterns may affect the "calories out" department slightly, but that is not what is making you fat. It is food that is making you fat. If you have some kind of magical body that violates the law of conservation of energy, please let the scientific community know immediately, otherwise it's time to put down the sandwich.

    • Re:This is crap. (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 10, 2012 @02:15PM (#39958255)

      Look up sleep apnea. And stop spreading jaded ignorance.

    • What's with all the "just eat less" posts on this story? Are you reading what it's trying to tell you?

      • by Daryen (1138567)

        What's with all the "just eat less" posts on this story? Are you reading what it's trying to tell you?

        Yes, I read what it's trying to tell me.

        "We're not going to give you any hard data, and because the scientific article is behind a paywall, you're shit out of luck. What we WILL give you instead is one more excuse that you can use to rationalize how fat you are. We realize that anything that shifts the blame off of your bad diet and worse exercise routine will make you feel better about yourself. We're going to pass up this opportunity to tell you that that calorie difference between a well rested indivi

    • by data2 (1382587)

      Actually, less sleep is responsible for more calories in, as we tend to eat lots of sugary stuff to stay awake when tired.

    • Re:This is crap. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Miamicanes (730264) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @04:33PM (#39959641)

      > Your weight is a result of calories in vs. calories out.

      Actually, it's not. There are plenty of studies demonstrating that chronic sleep-deprivation makes you MUCH more likely to gain weight from a given number of calories. Your body goes into 'crisis' mode, and becomes more aggressive and efficient about converting calories into fat. The fact that you're likely to end up ravenously hungry and fatigued multiples the effect, but even if you kept exercise and calorie count constant, you'd be more likely to gain weight after extended chronic sleep deprivation.

      The same phenomenon has been observed with some psychiatric drugs. In particular, one class of drugs used for treating schizophrenia. I don't remember the exact details, but I remember reading that there were a couple of them that *observably* slowed down the patient's metabolism for reasons that aren't entirely understood (and researchers are certainly trying, because if they can figure out what makes them slow somebody's metabolism down, they might be able to come up with a blockbuster drug that speeds it up and enables effortless weight loss. Assuming, of course, the drug doesn't end up having drug-induced mania or psychosis as a side effect).

    • Your weight is a result of calories in vs. calories out.

      Nothing else.

      I really think you should study the topic more, because a doctor or nutritionist would probably tell you that you're very wrong. There are lots of things that have been shown to contribute to weight gain and weight loss. It's true that eating fewer calories than you expend will cause you to lose weight, but it's neither the only way to lose weight, nor is it necessarily the healthiest guide to losing weight.

      For one thing, the same number of calories can be digested differently depending on the food. IIR

      • by Daryen (1138567)

        I've had 16 different responses from people telling me that I'm wrong. That it isn't calories in vs. calories out. They then go to list things that affect the total number of calories the body spend.

        I hate to tell you this, but I already knew that things could have an effect on the number of calories your body spends. That's what I meant by "calories out." It's not a fixed amount. Sleep, exercise, diet, genetics, environment, your childhood, your mood, and a number of other factors can change "calories

    • You don't know what the fuck you're talking about.

      Your post needs to be -1, Loud Mouthed Idiot.

      Yes, sleep patterns, or the disruption thereof from an irregular sleep schedule, most certainly does play a huge role in the body's energy (fat) conservation strategies.....amongst countless other things.

    • by kinnell (607819)

      Your weight is a result of calories in vs. calories out.

      Nothing else.

      While that's technically true, it misses the problem completely because you ignore why people eat more than they need. People eat because they are hungry. Why would someone with enough body fat to power their sedentary lifestyle for weeks still feel hungry? That's the problem, and there's a ton of evidence that it's screwed up hormonal signalling from a poor diet and lifestyle which makes people hungry when they shouldn't be. Poor sleep patterns is part of the problem, even if an unhealthy diet and lack

  • So if we just sleep in every day instead of just on weekends, we'll lose weight. Brilliant.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 10, 2012 @02:16PM (#39958269)

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-16964783

    "We often worry about lying awake in the middle of the night - but it could be good for you. A growing body of evidence from both science and history suggests that the eight-hour sleep may be unnatural."

    We may, in fact, ALL BE DOING IT WRONG. If an 8 hour sleep cycle is indeed unnatural, then we're fighting our biological clock much more than we thought. Even if you get plenty of sleep.

    • by Guppy (12314)

      Thanks, right after reading the article, I came down to see if anyone else had posted a comment regarding First & Second Sleep:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Segmented_sleep [wikipedia.org]

      Segmented sleep, also known as divided sleep, bimodal sleep pattern, or interrupted sleep, is a polyphasic or biphasic sleep pattern where two or more periods of sleep are punctuated by a period of wakefulness. Along with a nap (siesta) in the day, it has been argued that this is the natural pattern of human sleep. A case has been made that maintaining such a sleep pattern may be important in regulating stress.

  • You gain weight if you eat too much. It's the law. Lots of things might make you hungry, but you don't have to eat every time you feel like it.
  • You hear that Super-Sized French Fries? It's not your fault I'm fat. It never was! I'm so sorry, please forgive me and let's get back together again...
  • I will say that I tend to eat more when I'm tired, and a biological clock that's out of sync is one reason for being tired, but I'm not sure that being tired necessarily leads to weight gain by itself. I think it's more useful to separate the phenomena than to construct a Rube Goldberg or Toshiba-like [youtube.com] chain of cause and effect.

    That said, my biological clock is closer to a 32-36 hour cycle than 24, which sucks. I went to bed at a respectable 10PM last night, so I probably won't start getting tired until a

  • Interestingly enough I was just talking to a coworker about this today.

    I have never been able to get on a "proper" sleep schedule. Ever since I was a kid. I have always hated getting up in the morning. I have always hated mornings period. The nicest thing about being of school age was I could have summers to readjust to my natural schedule. Having this time off was one of the best things of my time and I am damn sure contributed to my ability to stay skinny. I ate much more food as a teen than I do now--AND
  • I have an awful sleep schedule. I often keep completely different hours each day.

    Yet I'm 5'10 and only weigh 140lbs. I call bunk on this
  • Neither the author nor the submitter RTFA when they developed the title - it clearly states that surfaces must be conductive, which is an awfully long way from "anything". The article even mentions smart couches, but then goes on to say saying workarounds are required - non-conductive items must be coated with something conductive.

    Stupid non-tech journalists writing tech articles.

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