Losing Weight Solution Found in Sleep

Monday 15th February 2010

According to a new study that has been conducted at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital the answer to the perfect figure could lie in getting the correct amount of sleep at night. With around 60% of the UK adult population being either obese or overweight, the root cause of this ever increasing problem may not be due to lack of exercise or eating too much but to not sleeping enough.

Dr Shahrad Taheri, one of the leading researchers of this project, explains that this latest study focused on analysing the correlation between sleep and weight whilst also looking at the metabolic rate. He goes on to suggest that staying awake for longer periods of time means an increased chance of eating more both because there is more time to but also cravings are increased. The study found that people who sleep for less than 7 hours per night were at a significantly higher risk of becoming obese than those who slept for the average 8 hours. Additionally, those adults who are sleeping for around 4 hours or less each night are at a staggering 73% higher risk of gaining weight. The lack of sleep can lead the tired sufferer to crave up to nearly a 1000 more calories per day, which is half of the recommended daily allowance for women. The issue appears to stem from sleep deprivation being responsible for the stimulation of a hormone that controls our appetites, so this is increased whilst the hormone that tells us when we’re full is lowered, making us feel as though we could easily eat more.

Dr. Taheri goes on to explain that sleep deprivation and weight gain can become quite a vicious circle, particularly in sleep disorders such as sleep apnoea. The breathing problems associated with sleep apnoea can be caused by excess weight restricting the airways which in turn disturbs the sufferers sleep with the unregulated breathing, thus leaving them tired and consequently hungrier the next day. Not only does lack of sleep now appear to affect our body weight too but it can have a severe impact on our overall wellbeing both mentally and physically.  


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