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Study: Lack of Sleep Causes Obesity

Study: Lack of Sleep Causes Obesity

(ePharmaNews) – Sleep can be as important to your waist line as diets and exercises, according to researchers at Mayo Clinic.

Most guidelines and medical societies recommend 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep during the night, which is an "east to say hard to do" kind of wishs these days. On the other hand, these centers assert that these numbers are variable among different individuals.

The researchers studied 17 normal, healthy young men and women for eight nights, with half of the participants sleeping normally and half sleeping only two-thirds their normal time. Both groups were allowed to eat as much they want during the day.

The researchers found that the group who were short of sleep ate 500 more calories during the day, which makes sleep deprivation a risk factor for obesity.

The researchers found within their study that both groups consumed the same amount of energy during the day, which asserts that the increased food intake is not related to increased energy expenditure as a result of staying awake for a longer time.

In an attempt to understand the relationship,  Dr.Virend Somers, M.D., Ph.D., study author and professor of medicine and cardiovascular disease at the Mayo Clinic said “We tested whether lack of sleep altered the levels of the hormones leptin and ghrelin”. Leptin and ghrelin are associated with appetite, and they were found to be elevated in sleep deprived participants, but researchers could not tell whether the elevation is the cause or the result of increased appetite in people lacking sleep.

“Sleep deprivation is a growing problem, with 28 percent of adults now reporting that they get six or fewer hours of sleep per night,” said Andrew D. Calvin, M.D., M.P.H., co-investigator at the Mayo Clinic.
The researchers noted that while this study suggests sleep deprivation may be an important part and one preventable cause of weight gain and obesity, it was a small study conducted in a hospital’s clinical research unit.
“Larger studies of people in their home environments would help confirm our findings,” Calvin said.

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Prepared by: Mohammed Kanjo

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