Sleep Deprivation Increases Obesity Risk

Lack of sleep disrupts energy balance, which determines whether you gain weight, lose weight or stay the same— according to a literature review and meta-analysis conducted by David Allison and colleagues from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Sleep deprivation increases a hormone called ghrelin, which promotes appetite. It also reduces leptin, a hormone that normally suppresses appetite. Some studies have found that inadequate sleep increased the risk of obesity by 200 percent. Inadequate sleep was also linked to diabetes and high blood pressure. Sleep disturbances are surprisingly common in children and adults and can cause serious health problems, such as memory loss, coronary artery disease, stroke, daytime sleepiness and contribute to automobile and workplace accidents. See your physician for a sleep study if you have insomnia, snore loudly, stop breathing for 20 seconds or more during sleep or wake frequently at night. (Obesity Reviews, 16: 771-782, 2015)

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