Insufficient Sleep May Affect Your Weight

Researchers see a possible link between the amount of time you sleep in a day, or total sleep time (TST) and body mass index (BMI). In a study reviewed in Clinicians Reviews, (March 2005), 924 subjects aged 18 to 91 completed a questionnaire assessing total estimated sleep time per 24 hours, sleep hygiene (i.e.: regular sleep schedules, exercise, etc.), diagnosed sleep disorders, and sleep hygiene issues (tobacco, weight loss product use, alcohol and caffeine). Subjects were categorized by their BMI as normal (17 to 24), over weight (25 to 29), obese (30 to 39) and extremely obese (over 39). As total sleep time decreased, BMI was higher. The researchers noted one exception in that subjects who were categorized as extremely obese slept more than those categorized as obese subjects.

A 16 minute sleep time difference per 24 hours was noted between normal weight subjects and those in all other weight categories! This equaled 1.86 hours per week which equated to an average BMI increase of 5.4. Patients reporting sleep disorders were eliminated from the study. Sleep hygiene did not have an impact on TST.

The association between restricted sleep and obesity may be explained by ìmetabolic and hormonal consequences. Authors of the study suggest that this is due to reduced production of a substance called Leptin, an appetite-regulating hormone. In summary, the less sleep you get, the more Leptin your body produces, causing you to eat more and gain more weight.

Reconsider those all nighter study sessions if you are also one who is trying to lose a few extra pounds. Listen to your body, get the rest you need. It may help you lose the extra weight in the long run.

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