Sleep Loss Linked to Obesity

Sleep Loss Linked to Obesity
Anxiety resulting from bad economic times is causing sleep loss in America. Many studies have linked sleep disorders to obesity. Sleep problems disrupt metabolic and hormonal control systems that regulate bodyweight. This has resulted in poor blood sugar control, insulin resistance, stress-related increases in cortisol, increased levels of ghrelin (regulates appetite), decreased levels of leptin (regulates appetite and metabolic rate), and increased hunger. Sleep loss promotes nighttime eating and biases the metabolism toward fat storage instead of fat burning. A review of literature by scientists from the University of Chicago concluded that the doubling of the obesity rate since 1980 is in part due to reduced sleep duration. Large population studies and laboratory experiments established a strong link between poor sleep habits and body fat accumulation. (Current Opinion Clinical Nutrition Metabolic Care, 14: 402-412)

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