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Weight Gain and Sleep Deprivation

Lack of Sleep Can Cause Weight Gain

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Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Weight

Lack of sleep influences our weight. If we don't get enough sleep, we can become prone to overeating and weight gain. Apparently, we are sleeping almost two hours less each night. According to the National Sleep Foundation's 2005 poll, the average person sleeps for about seven hours a night, versus nine hours in the 1960s.

"Forty percent of Americans, 100 million people, are moderately to severely sleep-deprived," according to James Maas, psychology professor at Cornell University and author of the book
Power Sleep.

Why Lack of Sleep Causes Weight Gain

Apparently,when we limit sleep, our bodies make more stress hormones. For example, restricting sleep to four hours a night also has been shown to cause hormonal changes that make us hungry. Sleep also affects the part of the brain called the hypothalamus. For example, lack of sleep makes us too tired to exercise and more vulnerable to overeating.

Sleep Deprivation Can Be Unhealthy

Lack of sleep is also associated with increased risk of illness. Sleep apnea, for example is associated with glucose metabolic disorders and insulin resistance syndrome.

Higher Risk of Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes

Being asleep for less than six hours per night (or more than nine hours a night) is linked to higher risks of diabetes and pre-diabetes, both diseases of high blood sugar, according to scientists at Boston University School of Medicine.

In the massive Nurses Health Study of 70,000 American women, sleeping less than five hours a night was linked to a greater risk of diabetes. Similar results occurred in a number of German, Finnish and Swedish sleep-health studies.

Higher Risk of Rise in Blood Pressure

In one Japanese study, going 24 hours without sleep caused healthy people's blood pressure to rise by 16 percent.

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