Losing sleep causes weight gain: Adding pounds with insomnia

Lana Bandoim's picture
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A new study focuses on the link between losing sleep and weight gain to determine how they are connected. Researchers at the University of Chicago have found that a lack of sleep can lead to several problems ranging from eating too much to having more hunger hormones. It is possible to start seeing the impact of less sleep in as little as five days.

Packing on the pounds and not sleeping enough

Stress and overeating have been linked together in previous studies, but new research shows a strong connection between lack of sleep and eating in excess. The study mentions five days of sleep loss can lead to a weight gain of two pounds, and this is not the only change that occurs. The human body responds negatively to insomnia, even if it is not caused by stress, and people notice issues beyond packing on the pounds.

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Problems associated with lack of sleep

Researchers already know that a lack of sleep can affect concentration and other parts of the mind and body. However, the new study reveals that weight gain is not the only problem. If you are not getting enough sleep at night, then you are more likely to have high levels of hunger hormones. The overeating is also associated with a decreased desire to exercise and an increased chance of having diabetes. Furthermore, losing sleep affects a person’s ability to make healthy food choices and makes it more likely that he or she will select junk products.

Scientists understand that losing sleep is a common problem in our modern society, but they still encourage people to aim for at least seven to nine hours of sleep a night. It may not be possible to achieve this number all the time, yet the impact on the body is significant.

Image: Thomas Quine/Wikimedia Commons

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