Sleep More to Weigh Less

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This may sound against the adage but scientists actually found that you can sleep more to weigh less. Sleep and weight are believed to have some connection. One of these connections is manifested in the condition called sleep apnea wherein obese people found it difficult to sleep comfortably.

Studies have been conducted in the past which associated sleep loss to weight gain. Case Western Reserve University conducted a study on more than 68,000 women to determine sleeping patterns and its relation to weight.  The research revealed that those who sleep for less than 5hours a night gained more weight compared to those who sleep an average of 7 hours a night.

It can be gleaned that women who sleep less are more prone to becoming obese compared to women who sleep a full night or at least 7 hours.

Women who sleep less also consumed lesser calories.  This can be due to the hormones in our bodies. Our body release leptin to the bloodstream.  The function of Leptin is to determine if there is enough fat stored in the body. If that is the case then it would suppress apetite.  On the other hand, our stomach releases a hormone called ghrelin which would alert us if we are hungry.

When we don’t sleep, the leptin levels in our bodies decreases, making it hard for the body to suppress apetite due to excess fats.  The ghrelin levels also increase which would always signal hunger. This means that your body cannot determine if you have enough fat stored because the leptin is limited and the body always craves for food because more ghrelin hormones are released into the bloodstream.

Short sleep by definition means 4 hours or less sleep every night.  This could cause lower leptin and higher ghrelin. In order to avoid this problem and eventual weight gain later, one should make sure that he has more than 4 hours of sleep every night to avoid this dilemma.

Latest studies allow scientists to make connections between sleeping and appetite. In the studies conducted on mice, a gene which is controlled by circadian clock is found to control sleeping and walking. It is the same gene that can affect fat deposits in the body. When the scientists turn off the circadian clock gene, the mice didn’t gain weight even when feed with high calorie foods as compared to another group of mice whose clock weren’t turned off. This means that if the gene for sleeping is controlled, weight also follows.

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