Last modified: August 2, 2019
Richard Honaker M.D.View Full Profile
According to a recent study published in the journal PLOS One, adults who have poor sleep habits are more susceptible to having poorer metabolic health which could result to weight gain and obesity. The findings revealed that people who sleep on an average of 6 hours per night had a waist measurement that was 3cm greater than those who were getting 9 hours of sleep per night. It has also been recorded that shorter sleepers were heavier.
Is it conclusive enough to determine that sleep loss caused weight gain and obesity? Find out further as you read on, unless your feeling sleepy.
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Research Results Confirm Weight Gain and Obesity as Product of Poor Sleep Habits
The results further establish the evidence that poor sleep habits can contribute to developing metabolic diseases like diabetes. The study examined the connections between sleep duration, diet and weight, and indicators of overall metabolic health like blood pressure, blood cholesterol, blood sugar, and thyroid function.
The researchers gathered and investigated 1,615 adults who reported how long they slept each night and kept records of their food intake. Blood samples were also taken from them along with their weight, waist circumference, and blood pressure.
Obesity Has Doubled
One of the researchers stated that the number of people with obesity all over the world has more than doubled since 1980. He also mentioned that obesity leads to the growth of many diseases, especially type 2 diabetes and that understanding why people are having weight gain has essential implications for public health.
Poor sleep habits was also associated with reduced levels of HDL cholesterol in the participant’s blood, which is another factor that can bring about weight gain and other health issues. HDL cholesterol is good cholesterol that aids in the removal of bad fat from the circulation. Therefore, high HDL cholesterol levels protect against conditions like heart disease.
Surprisingly, the researchers did not find any connections between shortened sleep and a less healthy diet. Other studies have stated that shortened sleep can result to poor dietary choices.
The study was mainly a snapshot of the links between sleep duration and measurements of metabolic health and not devised to evaluate the impact of chronic sleep overtime or whether such would result to diseases.
Significance of Having Sufficient Sleep
Since the research has found that adults who reported sleeping less than others were more likely to experience weight gain and obesity, the team emphasizes the importance of having enough sleep. How much sleep is needed may differ between people, but the present agreement is that most adults need 7 to 9 nine hours of sleep. Avoid weight gain and obesity by getting enough sleep.
What Wight Gain Looks Like After Poor Sleep
Lack of sleep usually results to an increase in hunger and appetite, and possibly even to obesity. A 2004 study has revealed that people who sleep less than 6 hours per day were around 30 percent more likely to experience weight gain and obesity than those who slept 7 to 9 hours.
A current study has concentrated on the connection between sleep and peptides that regulate appetite. Ghrelin encourages hunger and leptin sends signals of satiety to the brain, which suppresses the appetite. Shortened sleep time is therefore linked with decreases in leptin and increases in ghrelin.
As a result people who sleep less get hungrier and eat more fatty foods. Weight gain and obesity therefore become imminent.
Sleep loss doesn’t only encourage appetite it also encourages cravings for high-fat and high-carbohydrate foods. Continuing studies are considering whether enough sleep should become a standard part of weight loss programs. Sleeping is definitely a great way to avoid weight gain and obesity.
9 More Health and Wellness Consequences of Poor Sleep Habits
It has always been known that lack of sleep can make you grumpy and muddled, but there are more negative effects. Your sex life, memory, health, looks, and even your ability to lose weight will also be affected. Here are ten startling and serious effects of poor sleep habits.
1. Sleepiness Can Result to Accidents
Sleep deprivation was one of the contributors of some of the biggest disasters in recent history: the 1979 nuclear accident at Three Mile Island, the enormous Exxon Valdez oil spill, the 1986 nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl, and more.
Lack of sleep is also a huge public safety hazard every day on the road. Sleepiness can result to slow reaction time as much as driving drunk. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatigues is one of the causes in 100,000 auto crashes and 1,550 crash related deaths per year in the US. Such problem is more prevalent among those who are aged 25 years and below.
Studies have also revealed that lack of sleep and poor sleep habits lead to accidents and injuries on the job as well. In one particular study, workers who complained about immoderate daytime sleepiness had notably more work accidents, especially repeated work accidents. The workers also had more sick days for every accident.
2. Sleep Loss Makes You Dumber
Sleep has a crucial role in thinking and learning. Lack of it hurts the mentioned cognitive processes in plenty of ways. Sleep loss impairs attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning, and problem solving. Such impairments make it harder to learn effectively.
During the night, different sleep cycles contribute in integrating memories in your mind. If you don’t get sufficient sleep, it will be less likely for you to remember what you’ve learned and experienced during the day.
3. Sleep Deprivation Can Cause Serious Health Problems
Having sleep disorders or chronic sleep loss raises your risk level for the following: heart disease, heart attack, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes. According to some approximations, 90% of people who have insomnia also have another health condition. Insomnia is a disorder that is typified by troubles of falling and staying asleep.
4. Lack of Sleep Shuts Down Your Sex Drive
According to sleep experts, men and women who are sleep deprived reported lower libidos and less interest in sex. Possible reasons for such are depleted energy, sleepiness, and increased tension.
Men who have sleep apnea, a respiratory problem that breaks the continuity of sleep, may have other factors that contribute to their depleted sexual appetite. A research published in 2002 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism suggested that plenty of men with sleep apnea also have low testosterone levels. In fact, almost half of the men who suffered from severe apnea also secreted exceedingly low levels of testosterone during the night.
5. Sleepiness Becomes Depressing
Progressively, poor sleep habits and sleep disorders could result to having symptoms of depression. A Sleep in America poll in 2005 found that people who have depression or anxiety were more likely to sleep less than 6 hours every night.
Insomnia was the most common sleep disorder and had the strongest connection to depression. A study in 2007 examined 10,000 people and found that those who have insomnia were five times more likely to develop depression than those who don’t have it. Insomnia is actually one of the first symptoms of depression.
Insomnia and depression feed on each other. Poor sleep habits usually provoke or antagonize the symptoms of depression. Depression in turn can make it more difficult for you to fall asleep. On a positive note, treating sleep problems can also improve depression and its symptoms.
6. Sleep Loss Ages Your Skin
People usually get sallow skin and puffy eyes after just a few nights of missed sleep. Chronic sleep loss can actually result to lackluster skin, fine lines, and dark circles under your eyes.
If you don’t get sufficient sleep, your body releases more stress hormones called cortisol. Excessive amounts of cortisol could break down skin collagen, which is the protein that keeps your skin smooth and elastic. Sleep loss also makes your body release very little human growth hormone.
While still young, human growth hormone promotes growth. As people age, it instead helps increase muscle mass, thicken skin, and strengthen bones. Growth hormone is released during slow-wave sleep. It’s a part of normal tissue repair that patches the wear and tear of the day.
7. Lack of Sleep Makes you Forgetful
If you want to keep your memory sharp, get plenty of sleep. Last 2009, American and French researchers have revealed that brain events called sharp wave ripples are in control of integrating and synthesizing memory.
The ripples also transports learned information from the hippocampus to the neocortex of the brain, which is where long term memories are stored. Sharp wave ripples mostly happen during the deepest levels of sleep.
8. Poor Sleep Habits May Increase Risk of Death
British researchers in the Whitehall II Study investigated how sleep patterns affected the mortality of over 10,000 British civil servants for more than two 20 years.
The results were published in 2007 and exhibited that those who had sleep fewer than 7 or 5 hours per night had their risk of death from all causes doubled. In fact, lack of sleep doubled the risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
9. Lack of Sleep Impairs Judgement, Especially About Sleep
Sleep loss can affect your interpretation of events. It also hurts our ability to make sound judgements mainly because you may not be able to assess the situations accurately and act on them wisely.
People who are sleep deprived appear to be more prone to poor judgement when it comes to evaluating what lack of sleep is doing to them. In the ever increasing fast paced world, operating on less sleep has become a sort of badge of honor.
According to sleep experts though, if you think that you’re doing fine on having less sleep, you are most likely wrong. If you work where being able to judge your level of functioning is important, sleep deprivation can definitely be a big problem.
Research has progressively shown that people who are getting six hours of sleep or less instead of 7 or 8 usually feel as if they’ve adapted or gotten used to being sleep deprived. But if you closely look into how they perform on tests of mental alertness and performance, they go on a downward spiral. Sleep deprived people usually lose touch on how impaired they have become.
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Submitted by Dr. Richard Honaker: http://www.independentmedicalexaminer.com/IME-Directory/Virginia/Dr-Richard-A-Honaker-MD.asp
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