Why Does Sleep Loss Equal Weight Gain?

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Sleep loss has a tissue-specific impact on gene-expression and metabolism, which could explain how sleep disorders affect weight and increase the risk for conditions like type 2 diabetes and obesity, say researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden. Results of their research were published in Science Advances.

The small study involved 15 healthy-weight people who participated in two laboratory sessions in which meal patterns and sleep were regulated and monitored. In one session, study participants got a normal amount of sleep and in the other session, they were kept awake overnight. After each night, researchers took a blood sample and a biopsy of the participants’ subcutaneous fat and skeletal muscle, which typically show disrupted metabolism in people with obesity and diabetes.

The researchers found that disruptions in circadian rhythm, such as those caused by shift work and sleep disorders, resulted in changes in DNA. Specifically, they noted increased inflammation, fat storage, muscle breakdown, and blood glucose in response to sleep loss.

Sourced from: Science Advances