Lack of Sleep Leads to Weight Gain

Lack of Sleep Leads to Weight Gain

Sleep deprivation slows your metabolism down, which could lead to obesity.  A recent study shows that lack of sleep puts a drag on metabolism, causing the body to use less energy and gain weight.

Christian Benedict of Uppsala University in Sweden who led the study said that the results suggest that getting plenty of sleep might prevent weight gain.  “Our findings show that one night of sleep deprivation acutely reduces energy expenditure in healthy men,” he wrote.

To identify the exact mechanisms by which a lack of sleep might have these effects, researchers put 14 male college students through a series of sleep ‘conditions’ including curtailed sleep, no sleep, and normal sleep.  They then measured changes in food intake, blood sugar, hormone levels and indicators of metabolic rate.

They found that even a single night of missed sleep slowed metabolism the next morning, reducing energy expenditure for tasks like breathing and digestion from 5 to 20 percent, compared with the morning after a good night’s sleep.  The participants also had higher morning levels of blood sugar, appetite-regulating hormones, and stress hormones after sleep disruption.

The study, reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, adds to evidence that sleep loss can promote weight gain not just by boosting hunger but also by slowing the rate at which calories are burned.  Previous studies have observed that people who sleep five hours or less are more prone to weight gain and weight-related diseases such as type II diabetes.


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