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Could a lack of sleep make you fat?

8/24 10:26:38

If you’re trying to lose weight, find out why you shouldn’t deprive yourself of a good night’s sleep. 

According to a study published in the American Journal of Human Biology, inadequate sleep impacts appetite regulation, glucose metabolism and raises blood pressure.

A lack of sleep shows around the waistline

"Obesity develops when energy intake is greater than expenditure. Diet and physical activity play an important part in this, but an additional factor may be inadequate sleep," said Dr Kristen Knutson, from the University of Chicago. 

"A review of the evidence shows how short or poor quality sleep is linked to increased risk of obesity by de-regulating appetite, leading to increased energy consumption."

Dr Knutson accumulated evidence from experimental and observational studies of sleep. Observational studies revealed cross-sectional associations between getting fewer than six hours sleep and increased body mass index (BMI) or obesity.

Sleeping less and eating more 

The studies revealed how signals from the brain which control appetite regulation are impacted by experimental sleep restriction. Inadequate sleep impacts secretion of the signal hormones ghrelin, which increases appetite, and leptin, which indicates when the body is satiated. This can lead to increased food intake without the compensating energy expenditure.

The evidence suggests that the association between inadequate sleep and higher BMI is stronger in children and adolescents. It also shows that sleep deficiency in lower socioeconomic groups may result in greater associated obesity risks.

"These findings show that sleeping poorly can increase a person's risk of developing obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease," concluded Knutson. "Future research should determine whether efforts to improve sleep can also help prevent the development of these diseases or improve the lives of patients with these conditions."

So if you're struggling to lose weight, try getting to bed a little earlier and you might just find that 'sleeping on it' makes all the difference! 

For more medical, health and wellness news and articles, visit www.hellodoctor.com  

Recommended reading: Lack of sleep harms your genes

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