Obesity & Sleep Deprivation

December 13, 2004

Happy Monday!

Last week the topic for the newsletter was on the recent research linking SLEEP DEPRIVATION TO INCREASED HUNGER & WEIGHT GAIN. This is a special interest to me because many of my clients want to lose weight and they want to do it the simplest way possible. Many believe it has to be difficult. Good news…sometimes it doesn’t have to be. I came across more information about the link between obesity and sleep deprivation and I thought I would share because many of you can benefit from just getting more sleep. This information doesn’t cost you anything, but it could save your life.

The following information was taken from Health Sciences Institute e-Alert on December 09, 2004:Source: www.agora-inc.com.

By some estimates, Americans average about six hours per night. That may be enough for some. But if you want to help make your diet work, you’ll probably need more than that, according to a study from Columbia University, presented at the annual scientific meeting of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity (NAASO).

Researchers used almost 10 years of data collected on nearly 18,000 subjects who took part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES); a study that gathered information on general dietary and health habits. After accounting for other factors that contribute to obesity, the Columbia team reported these estimates:
Less than four hours of sleep per night increases obesity risk by 73 percent, compared to subjects who slept seven to nine hours each night
An average of five hours of sleep per night increases obesity risk by 50 percent
An average of six hours of sleep per night increases obesity risk by 23 percent

The researchers believe that body chemistry might explain the link between sleep deprivation and obesity. A lack of sleep increases grehlin, a hormone that sends a hunger signal to the brain. At the same time, the level of a protein called leptin drops. Leptin helps suppress appetite, so when the level is low, appetite increases. Combine too much grehlin and too little leptin, and you’ve set the stage for an intake of too many calories.
The middle way
For those diligent souls who find a way to reduce their waking hours and get more sleep, a reduced risk of obesity is just part of the reward. Because if body weight is controlled especially abdominal fat simple daily tasks may be more manageable in later years.

In another study presented at the NAASO annual meeting, researchers at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center demonstrated how abdominal fat may play a role in disability among the elderly. More than 9,000 subjects were measured for waist-to-hip ratio, weight and height. Nine years later these measurements were taken again. At that time the subjects also answered questionnaires about their ability to perform typical daily activities such as household chores, cooking, dressing, etc.

The researchers found that subjects whose abdominal fat increased over the follow-up period were less able to adequately care for themselves and complete the daily tasks most of us take for granted. Of course, this is only one drawback to out-of-control abdominal fat. Of more concern is the development of metabolic syndrome, for which abdominal fat is one of the key symptoms. As I’ve mentioned in previous e-Alerts, when an expanding waistline is combined with high blood pressure and elevated levels of triglycerides and C-reactive protein, risk of heart disease and type-2 diabetes rises sharply.

I’m not suggesting that getting a little more sleep each night is all it will take to prevent the development of abdominal fat or metabolic syndrome. But when we connect these dots, and then connect others such as daily exercise and a balanced diet free of refined simple carbohydrates a picture of good health emerges.
If you would like more tips and coaching on how to improve your lifestyle to achieve your weight loss, pain reduction, stress management goals contact us for your FREE consultation @ [email protected] or 650-654-4604.

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