30 minutes less sleep per day may cause weight gain

30 minutes less sleep per day may cause weight gain

Thirty minutes less sleep per day may cause weight gain, according to a new study. The findings will be presented at the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting ENDO 2015.

While previous studies have shown that short sleep duration is associated with obesity and diabetes, we found that as little as 30 minutes a day sleep debt can have significant effects on obesity and insulin resistance at follow up,” said lead study author Professor Shahrad Taheri, MBBS, PhD, professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, in Doha. “This reinforces earlier observations that sleep loss is additive and can have metabolic consequences.”

Because of the demands of work of life and social activities, sleep deprivation has become an epidemic. The National Health Interview Survey shows that: “Nearly 30% of adults reported an average of ≤6 hours of sleep per day in 2005-2007. In 2009, only 31% of high school students reported getting at least 8 hours of sleep on an average school night.”

Lack of sleep may lead to detrimental long-term metabolic effects, which may in turn lead to type 2 diabetes.

Sleep loss is widespread in modern society, but only in the last decade have we realized its metabolic consequences,” Taheri said. “Our findings suggest that avoiding sleep debt could have positive benefits for waistlines and metabolism and that incorporating sleep into lifestyle interventions for weight loss and diabetes might improve their success.”

Taheri and colleagues divided 522 participants into three groups: usual care, physical activity intervention, or diet and physical activity intervention.

Study participants were told to keep a sleep diary for one week, and those who lost sleep during the week were 72% more likely to be obese. After six months, less sleep was convincingly linked to obesity and insulin resistance.

After one year, every 30 minutes of sleep lost was associated with a 17% increase in obesity risk, and a 39% increased risk of insulin resistance.

The research team believes that proper sleep is a key to treating metabolic disorders in the future.

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1. “Losing 30 Minutes of Sleep Per Day May Promote Weight Gain and Adversely Affect Blood Sugar Control.” Newswise. Endocrine Society, 5 Mar. 2015. Web. 09 Mar. 2015.

2. “Health Behaviors of Adults: United States, 2005–2007.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. U.S. Department for Health and Human Services, Mar. 2010. Web. 8 Mar. 2015.

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