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How lack of sleep contributes to obesity

Борис Зальман
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Натан Грумель
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Recent studies conducted by American experts in biochemistry and molecular biology have revealed a surprising link between regular sleep deprivation and weight gain.

During an experiment involving 15 healthy young men, they were allowed to sleep without restrictions for the first week, simulating a state of complete rest. Then, the conditions changed: for the next 10 days, they were allowed to sleep only 5 hours per day, mimicking a typical workweek schedule. Their diet was strictly controlled, including dinners high in fats. Over time, as sleep deficit increased, participants felt less satisfied after these meals and increasingly dissatisfied.

Scientists regularly collected blood samples from the participants to monitor the impact of sleep deprivation on biochemical processes in their bodies. It turned out that lack of sleep negatively affects the body’s ability to metabolize fats. After the experiment ended, participants were given a chance to recover, but even after 10 hours of continuous sleep, full recovery was not achieved.

The experiment highlighted how sleep deprivation affects the body’s ability to process and absorb fats, increasing hunger and decreasing the efficiency of converting fats into energy, leading to weight gain. Therefore, increasing sleep duration can be key to preventing obesity.

These results complement earlier findings that sleep deprivation increases the desire to consume unhealthy food, which was also confirmed by Swiss researchers. They found that even a single sleepless night can slow metabolism by 15-20%, reducing energy expenditure on vital bodily functions.

Sleep is not just a period of rest; it is a critically important component of a healthy lifestyle, alongside nutrition and physical activity. Studies show that the quality and duration of sleep directly affect weight and overall health.

1. Impact of Sleep Deprivation on Metabolism:

  •    – Research by the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology indicates that chronic sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain.
  •    – An experiment with young men showed that limiting sleep to 5 hours per day negatively affects the body’s fat processing.

2. Hormonal Balance and Appetite:

  •    – Sleep deprivation affects ghrelin (stimulates appetite) and leptin (signals satiety) hormones, leading to increased hunger.
  •    – Swiss scientists have discovered that even one sleepless night can slow down metabolism by 15-20%.

3. Psychological Aspects and Food Choices:

  •    – Lack of sleep often leads to poor mood and decreased ability to make well-considered decisions, including food choices.
  •    – Studies show that people suffering from sleep deprivation tend to consume high-calorie and fatty foods.

4. Tips for Improving Sleep:

  •    – Regular schedule: go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
  •    – Create a comfortable sleep environment: a dark, cool, and quiet bedroom.
  •    – Avoid caffeine and electronic devices before bed.
  •    – Relaxation techniques such as meditation or deep breathing can promote better sleep.

Sleep plays a vital role in maintaining healthy weight and overall well-being. Improving sleep quality can have a significant positive impact on your physical and psychological health, as well as help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Remember, sleep is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle, just like nutrition and physical activity.

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About the author

Борис Зальман

Boris Zalman

Associate Professor, outstanding nutritionist and gastroenterologist. His professional activities focus on the study and treatment of gastrointestinal diseases, as well as the development of optimal dietary strategies to improve the health of patients. With a deep knowledge of gastroenterology and expertise in nutrition, Boris Zalman helps his patients achieve optimal nutritional status and provide reliable support in managing their gastrointestinal problems.
Опубликовано в Health

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