Can lack of sleep influence weight gain?

Written by fatima cody stanford, m.d.
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Can lack of sleep influence weight gain?
How sleep can help you lose weight (Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

High blood pressure and a bad night's sleep

Most adults in the United Kingdom who are diagnosed with high blood pressure have essential hypertension, or high blood pressure of an unknown cause. If you have a sleep-related breathing disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea or habitual snoring, then you also have a greater risk for essential hypertension. Over 75 percent of people with obstructive sleep apnea are undiagnosed. If you feel that you struggle with these issues, seek attention from an internal medicine or your family GP.

Inadequate sleep has been linked to an increased likelihood of obesity as early as childhood. The average Brit sleeps less than seven hours each night. Your sleep needs alter as you age. Teenagers need at least nine hours of sleep while eight hours per night suffices for most adults.

You won’t lose weight by maintaining proper sleep habits, but sleep deprivation can increase stress hormones that may cause overeating, which could lead to weight gain. Lack of sleep increases a hormone called ghrelin, which is known to stimulate appetite. Sleep deprivation also decreases your leptin levels, a hormone that makes you feel full.

Some studies indicate that sleep duration that is either too short, under 6 hours, or too long, over 9 hours, may be linked with elevated cholesterol levels. To attain better control over your cholesterol level, concentrate on your sleep habits as well as your dietary habits, physical activity and your family history of elevated cholesterol.

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