A study conducted at the Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia showed that the people who sleep less tend to weigh heavier than those who sleep more.
A clinical investigation, which included thousand subjects, reported that “total sleep time decreased as the body mass index (a measure of weight based on the height) increased.”
Whether this means that the heavier individuals tend to sleep less or having enough sleep makes it easier for the people to control and maintain their normal weight, was not clear.
The authors of this study warn that “this does not establish a cause-and-effect relationship between restricted sleep and obesity (but) future investigations demonstrating success in weight loss via extensions of sleep would help greatly to establish such a relationship.”
“We’ve put so much emphasis on diet and exercise that we’ve failed to recognize the value of good sleep,” said Fred Turek, a physician at the Northwestern University in Chicago, who wrote a related article in a recent issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, where the study was published.
Some of the earlier researches have shown sleep deprivation to cause a decline in an appetite-suppressing the protein hormone called leptin, and also an increase in another hormone (ghrelin) which causes a craving for food. In addition to this, neuropeptides in the brain which govern sleep and obesity appear to overlap.
In another study, which involved more than 8,000 adults, researchers found that those who sleep only six hours per a day had a 23 percent risk of getting obese, five hours had a 50 percent, and for those who sleep less than four hours per a day had a 73 percent risk, compared to those who sleep eight to nine hours per a day.
Recent study will help to convince the people that enough sleep (minimum of eight hours per a day, which does not have any adverse effects or possible complications anyway) is essential, not only in controlling weight, but also in maintaining our health and well-being.