Obesity Could Follow Sleepless Nights

In the United States, 18 percent of adults are estimated to get less than six hours of sleep

| May 10, 2012

Feeling tired? Your lack of rest may be putting you at increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. That's the conclusion of a new paper, published in The American Journal of Human Biology, that looked at evidence collected from numerous experimental and observational studies. The link was clear: People who got less than six hours of sleep a night were more likely to have a high body mass index (BMI) and be obese. The connection found in the study seems stronger for children and teenagers, which is especially worrisome given the skyrocketing rates of type 2 diabetes in young people.

"In the United States, 18 percent of adults are estimated to get less than six hours of sleep, which equates to 53 million short sleepers who may be at risk of associated obesity," said the paper's author, Dr. Kristen Knutson of the University of Chicago. "Poor sleeping patterns are not random, and it is important to consider the social, cultural, and environmental factors which can cause inadequate sleep so at-risk groups can be identified."

But how exactly does lack of sleep increase obesity? The paper suggests that lack of sleep affects production of the hormones that make us hungry and tell us when we're full. Translation: If you don't sleep, you're going to feel hungry, and you're going to want to eat a lot.

"Obesity develops when energy intake is greater than expenditure. Diet and physical activity play an important part in this, but an additional factor may be inadequate sleep," Knutson said. "A review of the evidence shows how short or poor-quality sleep is linked to increased risk of obesity by deregulating appetite, leading to increased energy consumption."

Knutson said that most of the available sleep research comes from Western countries, which suggests that more research is needed to tease out the connections between lack of sleep and obesity. Ultimately, scientists will also need to prove the opposite: that sleeping longer and better can improve our health.

At the very least, we could try that option for ourselves. It couldn't hurt.


Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: BMI, Body Mass Index, Deregulating Appetite, Diabetes, Diabetes, Diabetes and Obesity, Diabetes Health, Diet , Hormones, Obesity, Sleep/Sleepless, Type 2 Diabetes, Type 2 Issues, University of Chicago

Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only
  • 12th Annual Product Reference Guide
  • Insulin Syringe Chart
  • Insulin Pen Needles Chart
  • Fast-Acting Glucose
  • Sharps Disposal
  • Blood Glucose Meters Chart
  • Insulin Pumps Chart
See the entire table of contents here!

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (0)

You May Also Be Interested In...


Add your comments about this article below. You can add comments as a registered user or anonymously. If you choose to post anonymously your comments will be sent to our moderator for approval before they appear on this page. If you choose to post as a registered user your comments will appear instantly.

When voicing your views via the comment feature, please respect the Diabetes Health community by refraining from comments that could be considered offensive to other people. Diabetes Health reserves the right to remove comments when necessary to maintain the cordial voice of the diabetes community.

For your privacy and protection, we ask that you do not include personal details such as address or telephone number in any comments posted.

Don't have your Diabetes Health Username? Register now and add your comments to all our content.

Have Your Say...

Username: Password:
©1991-2015 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.