Linking weight loss to sleep

Diet and exercise may help those looking to manage their weight and promote cardiovascular health, but adequate sleep could be just as crucial.

Many may know that ravenous feeling that can happen during the day following a sleepless night. These cravings emerge because an individual’s internal clock is linked to their metabolism, according to the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Therefore, getting a full and undisturbed sleep may be significant in avoiding weight gain.

Mice show the danger of disturbed sleep
Researchers from the FASEB studied mice to procure their results. Keeping the mice in an area with constant light exposure made the rodents’ sleep cycles irregular. They continued disrupting the mice until their internal clocks became worn down, similarly to when specimens get older.

This disruption carried over to the metabolic function of the mice. The rodents lost energy metabolism and insulin sensitivity.

Essentially, when light disturbed their sleep clocks, the mice’s daily metabolic rhythm went off kilter.

By having undisturbed rest, this rhythm may go on without disturbance.

“The good news is that some of us can ‘sleep it off’ to avoid obesity and diabetes. The bad news is that we can all get the metabolic doldrums when our normal day/night cycle is disrupted.” Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal, said in the release.

Though sleep helps keep these metabolic rhythms in tact, it should not be completely relied on to manage weight.

Sleep is just a part of the package
As the FASEB suggests, sleep may help to prevent obesity. Other sources have concluded the same: A 2012 release by the Canadian Medical Association Journal claims that sleep deficiency actually stimulates the body to want food.

That being said, diet and exercise may also be necessary for those looking to to lose weight.

“Sleep should be included as part of the lifestyle package that traditionally has focused on diet and physical activity,” Jean-Phillippe Chaput, Ph.D., of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, said in the release.

With people’s lives as busy as they are, it may be hard to get a full sleep each night. According to a 2011 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 35.3 percent of an adult study group reported that they got seven hours of sleep or less within a 24-hour period.

Though getting enough sleep so that one’s internal clock remains undisturbed may be difficult, for those concerned about their weight, doing so could be integral.


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