Thursday, April 22, 2010

Too Little Sleep Leads to Too Many Pounds!

Research into the causes of obesity have expanded out into the "sleep" world. A study conducted by the European Centre for Taste Sciences in Dijon Cedex, France, shows that sleep deprivation increases your appetite! Both food intake and activity levels of 12 men (average age 22) were measured after they had been allowed either 8 hours of sleep or only 4 hours of sleep.

The results showed that after less sleep the previous night, the men reported feeling hungrier during the day, especially before breakfast and before dinner. They ate approximately 22% more calories following a night of too little sleep but oddly, were more physically active during the day (trying to stay awake?).

The hormones Ghrelin (made in the GI tract which triggers increased calorie intake) and Leptin (made in the fat cells to turn off the desire for more calories) are two of the master controllers of hunger and how much we eat. We've known for some time that lack of proper sleep—8 or more hours of restful restorative sleep--increases stress cortisol and affects insulin sensitivity resulting in increased belly fat. This new information reveals that lack of sleep increases ghrelin (and the consumption of refined carbohydrate rich foods) and decreases leptin (a master governor of caloric intake). Unfortunately for morbidly obese people battling the bulge, it appears that the fatter you are the greater your level of sleep apnea which, in turn, continues the cycle of poor sleep which helps keep you fat.

The next step in weight management may well include diagnosis and treatment of apneic sleep and assuring other patients of consistent, quality sleep time to help keep their weight down.

To your good health,

Dr. David Blyweiss