Sleep deprivation is a common problem most adults face in their life which inevitably leads to a series of health problems.
A new small study conducted by researchers from Pennsylvania State University, found that four nights of poor sleep can alter the way your body stores fat, which could lead to the risk of obesity.
Participants in the study spent a week getting 10 hours of sleep every night at home, and then spent ten nights sleeping in the laboratory.
During the ten nights in the laboratory, the participants were given a high-fat and calorie-dense chili pasta for dinner. They were then told to get less than five hours of sleep each night for four nights in a row.
Their blood samples were taken and researchers discovered that sleep deprivation caused an increase in the participants’ insulin levels. Insulin is the hormone essentially needed to get glucose from the bloodstream into cells.
The high level of insulin causes the body to take in fats from meals more quickly, and these fats or lipids are then rapidly stored, which leads to weight gain.
According to Daily Mail, researchers said that “participants who were given a high-calorie meal felt less satisfied after eating it while sleep deprived than when they ate it well-rested”.
Lead author Kelly Ness, said that “across a lifetime of exposure to short sleep, this could increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, or other metabolic diseases”.
Meanwhile, co-author Dr Greg Shearer said that “the primary problem in obesity is how fat tissue functions to store fat energy”.
“By storing fats quickly, fat tissues appear to shift fuel utilization away from fats and prioritize the use of sugars for fuel. Here we show evidence that sleep restriction exaggerates this process, conserving energy stores.”
Note that although this study was able to get results from its findings, it was conducted using only 15 healthy male participants in their 20s, which may not be an accurate representation of the population.
Nevertheless, you still can’t ignore the fact that the lack of sleep causes many health problems which you may not be able to see now. Not taking care of your health by getting enough sleep might affect you greatly in the future.
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