Finding enough time to sleep helps to avoid getting fat according to various studies. Here are the details.
As absurd as the idea might seem, many epidemiological studies show that not getting enough sleep increases the risk of getting fat, and conversely, an overweight person may have trouble sleeping. But our society knows a modern evil: lack of sleep .
More than 30 studies from around the world have shown a correlation between insufficient sleep time and a high body mass index (BMI) , said Karine Spiegel (researcher at INSERM) at a conference organized by the French Institute for Nutrition.
“We have just discovered that lack of sleep acts on two hormones involved in the regulation of eating behavior:the secretion of ghrelin (which stimulates the appetite). With consequence an increase in hunger and palatability for food . And a penchant for foods high in fat and sugar such as confectionery, peanuts, cookies and cakes … in other words, junk food, “says Karine Spiegel.
” One of the most interesting ideas that exist on this The subject of this topic is the recognition that sleep and sleep disturbances produce significant effects on the body, including influencing our body weight, “says David Rapoport, Associate Professor and Director. of the Sleep Medicine Program at New York University (USA).
Although doctors have known for a long time that many hormones are affected by sleep, Rapoport says that appetite is only recently taken into account. For this, it was not until extensive studies were conducted on the two hormones mentioned above (leptin and ghrelin).
The way these two hormones open the way to overeating has recently been explored in two studies conducted at the University of Chicago in Illinois and at Stanford University in California (both located in the United States).
In the University of Chicago study, doctors measured leptin levelsand ghrelin in 12 healthy men. They also noted their levels of hunger and appetite. Shortly after, these 12 men were subjected to two days of sleep deprivation followed by two days of prolonged sleep. Meanwhile, doctors continued to monitor hormone levels, appetite, and physical activity.
In the end, when sleep was restricted, leptin levels dropped and ghrelin levels increased. Unsurprisingly, the appetite of men has also increased proportionally. Their desire for carbohydrates and caloric foods has increased by 45% , which is very consistent.
The Stanford University study, on the other hand, found a more provocative sense of the leptin-ghrelin tandem effect. In this study (a joint project between Stanford University and Wisconsin University), approximately 1,000 volunteers reported the number of hours they slept each night. The doctors then measured their levels of ghrelin and leptin and then mapped their weight.
The result was eloquent. Those who slept less than eight hours a night had not only lower levels of leptin and higher levels of ghrelin, but they also had a higher level of body fat. In addition, this level of fat in the body seemed to correlate with their sleep patterns. More specifically, those who slept the least hours per night weighed the most.
The lack of sleep would be added to the extra calories and sedentary lifestyle to partly explain the increase in overweight. Our professional, family and social life has generated needs, which to be satisfied require an increase in our days and a reduction of our nights.
In France, according to a recent INPES survey, 45% of 25-45-year-olds report not sleeping enough and 17% say they have a permanent sleep debt. Some researchers also find that people who have difficulty sleeping tend to reduce their physical activity. But obesity creates breathing problems that resonate on sleep, says another researcher from Inserm, Professor Patrick Lévy.
Sleep apnea syndrome increases in frequency as a function of weight. It is defined during sleep by many stops of breathing more than 10 seconds. In the United States, 60 to 70% of people with this syndrome have obesity. Apnea decreases the quality of sleep. It tires and prevents its form, creating a vicious circle. Faced with the demands of time, healthy living (balanced diet, exercise and sleep) deserves to be protected if we want to limit obesity and cardiovascular disease.
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