Obesity Linked To Too Little Sleep

Weight Loss | Articles

Not getting enough sleep may play a role in becoming overweight. Studies show a direct relationship between shorter sleep and increased body weight. In general, children and adults get less sleep today than in years past and the negative affects on the body may be a contributing factor to the rise in obesity, especially in children.

In a report appearing in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, Dr. Taheri points out that although there is a “strong genetic contribution to obesity,” the current epidemic of obesity has been driven largely by environmental factors, including an unhealthy diet and a lack of physical activity.

Too little sleep appears to affect eating related hormones. Overweight individuals who sleep fewer than the recommended eight hours each night have reduced levels of leptin, a hormone associated with feeling satisfied after eating, and increased levels of ghrelin, which is released by the stomach to signal hunger.

Inadequate sleep disturbs other hormones as well, including insulin, the stress hormone cortisol, and growth hormone, which could boost the desire for fatty foods.
Hormones aren’t the only things affected by lack of sleep. Short sleep duration also affects energy levels since it results in tiredness, which in turn may curb physical activity levels.

Dr. Taheri blames sleep deprivation in children on the ease of access to computers, cell phones, TVs and other gadgets too often found in their bedrooms. Dr. Taheri recommends removing these devices from the bedroom and keeping strict bedtimes to promote adequate sleep and healthy sleep habits among children and adolescents.

SOURCES: Archives of internal Medicine, September 18, 2006 and Archives of Disease in Childhood, November 2006

Sleep deprivation associates itself with many other factors such are heart disease, poor digestion and arthritic/fibromyalgia conditions. For those of you trying so hard to lose weight, this may be a simple and all important change for the good. Soon to be available, my educational videos covering the 20 ways to ensure a good night’s sleep, but for now try to get the rest you need to improve your weight loss goals.

God Bless,
Dr. Benzinger

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