Is Lack of Sleep Making You Gain Weight?
Studies have proven that getting too little sleep is linked to a wide range of health problems including high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes. Well, there is yet another reason to get your zzzzs. A new study from the University of Chicago published in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that insufficient sleep can cause weight gain.
The study followed healthy volunteers who underwent four nights of normal sleep (8-9 hours), followed one month later by four nights of sleep deprivation (4-5 hours of sleep). After the nights of restricted sleep, fat cells were taken from the volunteers stomachs. These cells were found to be less sensitive to insulin, a key hormone that helps control blood sugar. Insulin insensitivity is linked to obesity and diabetes.
"This is significant because sleeping four to five hours a night during the work week is not uncommon," said Dr. Matthew Brady, senior author of the study. "People think they can function cognitively on little sleep, but our study proves they are not tolerating the metabolic consequences."
Past studies have indicated a link between sleep deprivation and weight gain, but this is the first one to demonstrate how sleep deprivation specifically affects fat cell function.
The previous thought was that lack of sleep led to eating more and reduced physical activity which can both lead to obesity. But, this new study indicates a more direct link between sleep deprivation and weight gain.
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