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Sleep Patterns: More Sleep At Night Can Lead To Less Body Weight

Sleep Patterns: More Sleep at Night Can Lead to Less Body Weight

Researchers have linked weight loss or weight gain to sleep patterns before. There have been a number of different possible explanations for why how much sleep you are getting may influence whether you gain or loss weight. A new study that is published in the journal Sleep has linked weight gain and obesity because of possible genetic influences established during the normal sleep patterns. That study is suggesting that it might be possible to disrupt their own genetic predispositions by changing the sleep pattern.

Scientists, using sets of twins, took information related to current weight, height and normal sleep patterns from each twin and then tracked the changes at the end of the study period. They found that the twins who were logging less than seven hours of sleep per night were the most likely to be overweight or obese by BMI standards while those who were getting more than nine hours were able to deflect some of the genetic influences that may have made them gain weight. Simply put, while diet and exercise are important, they may be offset or improved by better sleep patterns.

Other research regarding sleep patterns and weight have looked at the link between behaviors and sleep quality that could lead to weight gain. Those studies directly linked poor sleep with bad behaviors including making poor food choices, eating larger portions of foods and late night snacking. People who did not get enough sleep at night were also much less likely to be interested in exercise the following day. Another study linked sleep pattern disruptions with problems related to two key hormones including leptin which is thought to suppress the appetite and ghrelin which is thought to trigger feelings of hunger which can be difficult to control without sleep. It has long been established that metabolism and calorie set points are reset during sleep. When that pattern is disrupted the body may not reset key functions which can throw off how fast or how slowly calories are burned as well as other digestive and appetite controlling functions in the body.

Both sleep deprivation and obesity increase the risk of a number of serious health condition including heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, loss of vision or limbs and more. In addition, the cost of health care for people who are obese or have diabetes is also much higher than for those who do not have either condition.

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