Lack Of Sleep And Obesity

Lack Of Sleep And Obesity

What is​ the connection between lack of​ sleep and obesity?

The recommended amount of​ sleep per night is​ 7 to​ 9 hours; however, most Americans average somewhere around six hours. Researchers found that the further away one is​ from getting the recommended hours of​ sleep, the higher their risk of​ obesity is.

What is​ the scientific basis of​ sleep debt leading to​ obesity?

If one is​ lacking the optimal amount of​ sleep, their leptin levels drop. Leptin is​ a​ blood protein that suppresses appetite and affects how the brain registers when the body is​ full. Also, sleep deprivation raises levels of​ grehlin, which is​ a​ substance that increases one's urge to​ eat. in​ short, if​ you sleep less number of​ hours, your leptin level falls, and grehlin goes up, resulting in​ overeating and weight gain.

What is​ the result of​ obesity on sleep loss?

Fat accumulation in​ the throat and neck cause obstruction of​ airways during sleep leading to​ poor oxygenation of​ the lungs. This causes pathological snoring called sleep apnea. You wake up several hundred times during the night. You have day time drowsiness, and again another night of​ disturbed sleep. This condition is​ called obstructive sleep apnea.

If so, the obstructive sleep apnea leads to​ more sleep debts, more stress, and more leptin and grehlin problems, more weight gain in​ a​ vicious cycle.

So what is​ the solution?

1. if​ you snore a​ lot, get yourself checked for obstructive sleep apnea.

2. Work on weight loss.

3. Control stress and maintain better sleep hygiene

Naras Bhat MD

Lack Of Sleep And Obesity

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