Weight Gain Linked to Poor Sleep

At the European Congress of Endocrinology in Lisbon, scientists outline how disrupted sleep patterns can trigger changes in appetite, metabolism, motivation and physical activity, or even a combination of all these factors. This leads to disruption in people’s appetite and responses to food. The end result is weight gain.

Their studies suggest that sleep loss favours weight gain in humans. It is therefore fair to say that improving sleep could be a promising lifestyle intervention to reduce the risk of future weight gain (reported by  Christian Benedict, a neuroscientist at Uppsala University in Sweden)
Some two-thirds of people in Europe are now considered to be overweight, while a quarter are reckoned to be obese and in real danger of damaging their health or of dying prematurely. Lack of exercise is clearly involved in this obesity epidemic, as well as the readily available supply of sugary drinks and processed food, but sleep is also seen as a factor, particularly in the 24/7 culture of the modern world, where more people are reporting problems getting quality sleep – and where studies have increasingly pointed to a higher correlation between sleep deprivation and weight gain.

In one experiment carried out by the Uppsala team, a group of 14 male students were put through a series of sleep experiences ranging from normal sleep to curtailed sleep and to no sleep at all over several days. The students were then measured for changes in how much they ate, their blood sugar and hormone levels and in their metabolic rate. The results were striking.

Even a single night of missed sleep was found to slow a person’s metabolism the next day, reducing energy expenditure for tasks such as breathing and digestion by between 5% and 20%. The students also had higher levels of blood sugar, appetite-regulating hormones such as ghrelin, and stress hormones such as cortisol after sleep disruption. The sleep loss did not, however, boost the amount of food consumed during the day.

Is poor sleep an issue for you?

There are many ways to tackle this and just one of the issues we help our clients with here at the Odyssey Partnership/Epsom Hypnotherapy. Come along and talk to us, if this is an issue for you.

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