Do you often skimp on sleep? That might spell trouble for your waistline!
According to a Swedish study, losing sleep boosts your risk of becoming obese. To arrive at this conclusion, researchers from Uppsala University say a lack of shuteye affects energy metabolism by disrupting sleep patterns and affecting the body's response to food and exercise.
A number of previous studies have found a relationship between sleep deprivation and weight gain, however, the cause has been unclear. Keep reading for the full findings on the current study.
Sleep deprivation can lead you to make poor food choices and expend less energy
The study was conducted by Dr Christian Benedict and his colleagues, who’ve carried out a number of human studies to determine the role sleep
loss may play in energy metabolism. These studies have analysed and imaged behavioural, physiological and biochemical responses to food following acute sleep
The group’s behavioural data indicate that metabolically healthy, sleep
-deprived people prefer larger portions of food, seek more calories, expend less energy and show signs of increase impulsivity related to food.
On the other hand, physiological studies reveal that sleep loss shifts the hormonal balance from hormones that promote fullness (satiety), such as GLP-1, to those that promote hunger, such as ghrelin. Sleep restriction also increases levels of endocannabinoids, which are known to stimulate appetite.
What’s more, their research showed that acute sleep loss alters the balance of gut bacteria, which has been shown to play a key role in maintaining a healthy metabolism. The same study also found reduced sensitivity to insulin after sleep loss.
“Since perturbed sleep is such a common feature of modern life, these studies show it’s no surprise that metabolic disorders, such as obesity
are also on the rise,” said Benedict. “My studies suggest that sleep loss favours weight gain in humans," he said. "It may also be concluded that improving sleep could be a promising lifestyle intervention to reduce the risk of future weight gain.”
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Here’s the plain truth. Diets alone don’t work.
How many diets have you been on, weight loss pills you’ve consumed, injections you’ve had to endure? You might have lost some weight but it’s probably all back on again…
The truth is that there is no magic solution to make the weight drop off.
The secret to successful weight loss isn’t starving yourself nor is it limiting your food choices or following a painful pattern of eating.
Too much light while you sleep can also increase your risk for obesity!
Not only is a lack of sleep adding kilos, other researchers has found that too much light while you sleep also contributes to obesity. A British study that looked at 113,000 women found that the more light they were exposed to during sleeping hours, the higher their risk of being obese. Light disrupts the body’s circadian rhythm, which affects sleep and wake patterns as well as metabolism.
However, exposure to light in the early waking hours might help maintain a healthy weight, according to a Northwestern University study. Researchers found that people who got most of their exposure to sunlight – even when the weather was overcast – early in the day had a lower body mass index (BMI) than those who caught their rays later in the day, irrelevant of their age, caloric intake or physical activity levels.