Sleep your weight away
Until recently, being obese has been attributed to having a poor diet, suffering from hormonal imbalances, genetic factors, lack of exercise and physical activity, etc., but never to a lack of sleep. Now, several new clinical studies have demonstrated that sleep deprivation also plays a large part in making both children and adults obese.
One study cited by the American Chronicle found that kids that went to bed late gained weight more easily than kids that had an early bed time. In fact the study demonstrated that with just one extra hour of sleep, kids can reduce their risk of becoming obese by an incredible 30 to 36 percent. Furthermore, it was found that teenagers are sleeping less than they should. The US National Sleep Foundation recommends that youngsters ages 5 to 12, need about 11 hours of sleep and teenagers need about 9 hours. The study found that the average teenager ages 13 to 18 is getting only about 7 hours of sleep, which is two hours less than the recommended minimum. This makes teens more prone to becoming overweight.
Another study cited by Ian Johnston of the Scotsman, found that women that get less than five hours of sleep are very much at risk of becoming overweight. The study titled "The Nurses Health Study" ran for about 16 years and tracked approximately 70,000 women who recorded their weight every two years. The findings were astonishing. Women that averaged only five hours of sleep at night were 32 percent more prone to gaining an incredible 33 pounds .
Women are not the only ones at risk, however. A combined investigation between Karine Spiegel from the University of Brussels of Belgium and Van Cauter from the University of Chicago found that men sleeping less than 7 to 8 hours a day are more at risk of becoming obese and / or of suffering from diabetes. They performed an experiment on male patients, restricting sleep for two days, and found that sleep deprivation altered two hormones named ghrelin and leptin which are responsible for a person's appetite. It is believed that the increase in ghrelin and the decrease in leptin suffered by sleep deprived patients cause them to crave more food and therefore eat more.
Another hormone altered by a lack of sleep is cortisol. Sleep deprivation apparently causes the brain to instruct this hormone to store excess calories as fat. Sugar levels are usually also higher in patients that sleep less than they should. Patients getting less sleep usually feel the need for a sugar rush to give them energy. The increase in glucose levels promotes excess insulin production and puts the patient more at risk of becoming diabetic. Furthermore, if the sugar is not burned off soon enough it will be turned into fat.
With all the evidence linking obesity to sleep deprivation, it is important to analyze if our own sleeping patterns are putting us at risk. Adults need around 8 hours of sleep. Getting a good night sleep will not only reduce excessive daytime sleepiness but will also help us stay fit.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mario Vespucci, the author of this article, is a medical journalist collaborating with www.phentermine-hcl.org site (Phentermine Authority - All you should know about Phentermine). He throws light upon problems of excessive weight and its threat to health.