A newly published U.S. study has uncovered a potential link between partial sleep deprivation and obesity. The issue relates to hormone imbalance.
According to Eureka, the research paper, which has appeared in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, has reviewed literature published over a 15-year period to identify potential links between sleep patterns and weight gain.
According to Scientific American the researchers found that people without sleep-related conditions who experienced consecutive nights of four to six hours of sleep were associated with a wide range of negative effects involving appetite hormones. From this, the study found that partially sleep-deprived individuals experienced reduced insulin sensitivity, increases in ghrelin and decreases in leptin, thus creating an imbalance in energy intake that promote hunger.
The research concludes that “More than 35 percent of American adults are obese and more than 28 percent sleep less than six hours a night. While weight-loss strategies incorporate lifestyle changes focusing on diet and exercise, modifications in an individual's daily routine, including sleep behaviors, can help manage weight.”
This conclusion, Big Think notes, supports the idea that evaluation of an individual's sleep patterns may benefit healthy weight management when combined with regular, sufficient sleep.
According to Barchester, lead investigator Dr Sharon Nickols-Richardson stated:
"The intriguing relationship between partial sleep deprivation and excess adiposity makes partial sleep deprivation a factor of interest in body weight regulation, particularly in weight loss."