Studies Find that Lack of Sleep Leads to Obesity

  • 17 Jun 2019

But exactly how does lack of sleep lead to the much dreaded obesity?

Findings show that getting too little sleep affects the body's hormones, making a person hungrier. It may result in people consuming extra 385 kilocalories (kcal) after a sleepless night as they tend to eat more fatty food and protein, as shown in a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The lack of sleep can disrupt the circadian rhythm or internal body clock and can thus affect body's regulation of leptin - the "satiety" hormone and ghrelin - the "hunger" hormone, the researchers said.

"Our results highlight sleep as a potential third factor, in addition to diet and exercise, to target weight gain more effectively," said lead author Haya Al Khatib from King's College London.

"If long-term sleep deprivation continues to result in an increased calorie intake of this magnitude (385 kcal per day), it may contribute to weight gain," added Gerda Pot from King's College London.

The study also discovered that sleep deprived people ate proportionately higher fat and lower protein intakes, but no change in their carbohydrate intake.

"The main cause of obesity is an imbalance between calorie intake and expenditure and this study adds to accumulating evidence that sleep deprivation could contribute to this imbalance. So there may be some truth in the saying early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy and wise," Pot said, in the systematic review and meta-analysis of 11 studies with a total of 172 participants done for the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Source: Bawarchi
Photo Credit: Ozy

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