new research shows a strong correlation between weight gain and insufficient sleep. Alan Mozes reports:According to HealthDay
"We all need to be aware there is a relationship between sleep and obesity," says J. Catesby Ware, chief of the division of sleep medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School, and director of the Sleep Disorder Center at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Norfolk, Va.It seems hormones are responsible for this association:
Ware and his colleagues found signs of this link in a recently completed study of more than 1,000 men and women that indicated those who reported sleeping less also weighed more.
He is now in the midst of new research focusing on another group of 1,000 individuals that is quantifying specific daily sleep habits, with preliminary data reinforcing his previous observation -- less sleep equals a bigger belly.
"There are a number of research studies that all support the thesis that too little sleep leads to weight gain," Ware said. "How that happens is still somewhat unclear, but there are hormonal secretions that are affected with sleep loss that apparently affect appetite and eating."
Eve Van Cauter, a professor of medicine at the University of Chicago, recently found that when 12 healthy men in their 20s were instructed to sleep just four hours a night for two nights straight, they reported an increase in feelings of hunger by 24 percent.
What's more, Cauter and her colleagues noted that levels of the hormone leptin, which delivers feelings of satiation to the brain, decreased by 18 percent among the men.
Conversely, levels of the hormone ghrelin, which sparks hunger, shot up 28 percent -- prompting cravings for candy, cookies and cake.