It has been scientifically proven that poor sleeping patterns can lead to obesity. In fact, only four nights of poor sleep can change the way how the body stores fat and elevate the risk of obesity.
According to this study sleep affects our weight, namely the involved participants who lacked sleep were less satisfied with the rich meal than the ones who had the same meal but slept well.
Researchers found out that the intake of high-calorie meals after lack of sleep leads to elevated levels of insulin in the body and faster clearance of lipids, or fats, from the meal that results in fat storage thereby leading to weight gain.
This study was lead by the team of Pennsylvania State University who said that there is much evidence that prove the harmful effects of the sleep shortage and because of that doctors should educate their patients about the importance of having good sleeping patterns.
According to the National Sleep Foundation adults should sleep 7 to 9 hours every night, but it seems that many people do not sleep properly.
The 2015 US study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that around 50% of US adults sleep less than 7-8 hours a night.
Lack of sleep is bad for the overall health and it is believed that elevates the risk of diabetes, obesity, heart disease and even cancer.
Another recently carried out study released in the Journal of Lipid Research that involved 15 healthy male participants in their 20s showed what sleep shortage can do to the body.
The participants spend their nights in their homes and later in the laboratory. In the first week they slept in their homes and were getting a 10-hour sleep, and after that they spent 10 nights at the Clinical Research Center at Penn State.
In the Center, the men ate a high-fat, calorie-dense dinner of chili and pasta, and were told to sleep for 5 hours for four nights in a row.
After that the researchers took blood samples from these men that showed that lack of sleep can lead to high levels of insulin, a hormone that is required to get the glucose from the bloodstream into cells. As a result of that the body takes the fat and the lipids from the meal more quickly which are being quickly stored and that leads to weight gain.
The lead author of the study, Kelly Ness, a former graduate student at Penn State, stated the following, quote: “Across a lifetime of exposure to short sleep, this could increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, or other metabolic diseases”.
She added that people must be warned about the negative effects of sleep deprivation in order to protect their health and well-being.
The co-author of this study, Dr Greg Shearer, an associate professor of nutritional sciences at Penn State, maintained the following, quote:
”The primary problem in obesity is how fat tissue functions to store fat energy. By storing fats quickly, fat tissues appear to shift fuel utilization away from fats and prioritize the use of sugars for fuel. Here we show evidence that sleep restriction exaggerates this process, conserving energy stores.”