Sleep Loss Leads to Weight Gain

weight gain

In recent decades, the number of adults sleeping six hours or less per night has significantly increased. Sleeping less can have negative effects on your body and can cause you to gain weight more easily. A recent study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania confirms the correlation between weight gain and sleep patterns. The main findings of the study show sleep-restricted subjects gained more weight than control subjects, sleep-restricted subjects consumed more meals, and sleep-restricted subjects consumed more calories. These findings prove how important an adequate amount of sleep is to regulating weight and food intake. The study is the largest study to be conducted under controlled laboratory conditions and had a sample of culturally diverse subjects between the ages of 22 to 50. Many findings of past studies have been confirmed, proving that sleep is instrumental to restoring your brain and body’s natural rhythms. One interesting result was between cultures and genders. African Americans gained more weight than Caucasians. This is significant because according to a National Healthy Survey, African Americans reported being more sleep-deprived, which means the population will be more likely to have a higher body mass index. Also, males gained more weight than females. Overall, African Americans and males may be more susceptible to weight gain from sleep loss.

Another finding of the study was that sleep-restricted subjects consumed more calories during days with later bedtimes than control subjects who with a normal bedtime. Subjects consumed a larger number of meals in a 24-hour period than those that were not sleep-restricted. Keeping a natural sleep pattern is instrumental to the health of your brain. Sleep is important to your body’s natural rhythms and seems to keep your meal signals in check.

There is much research to be conducted concerning sleep and its effect on weight gain, caloric intake, and meal timing. The study leaves opportunities for more research to be done, especially concerning other groups including obese individuals, adolescents, or the elderly. As conclusions are made through research, we will be more able to predict the effects of sleep deprivation on health. Overall, the University of Pennsylvania’s study supports the relationship between short sleep duration and increased body mass index.

It is important to get an adequate amount of sleep to keep your health stable.  If you or someone you love is having issues sleeping, a sleep disorder may be involved.  At least 40 million American suffer from sleep disorders.  The professionals at FusionSleep stand ready to assist with the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders to help you get a restful night’s sleep and maintain good health.