Not Getting Enough Sleep? You May Gain Weight!

What connection could a lack of sleep have with weight gain? It seems a new study has shown a correlation between the two. One theory is that a lack of sleep retards your “non-exercise associated thermogenesis” or NEAT. In other words, you may be so tired that you “fidget” less during the day!

Not enough sleep associated with weight gain

“Women who fail to get enough shut-eye each night risk gaining weight, a Cleveland-based researcher reported at a medical conference in San Diego today. In a long-term study of middle-aged women, those who slept 5 hours or less each night were 32 percent more likely to gain a significant amount of weight (adding 33 pounds or more) and 15 percent more likely to become obese during 16 years of follow-up than women who slept 7 hours each night. This level of weight gain — 15 kg, or 33 pounds — is ‘very clinically significant in terms of risk of diabetes and heart disease,’ Dr. Sanjay Patel of Case Western Reserve University told Reuters Health.”

The exact reason for this correlation is not known, but the theories are interesting!

“All in all, it seems that diet and exercise are not accounting for the weight gain in women who sleep less, Patel concluded. It’s possible that sleeping less may affect changes in a person’s basal metabolic rate — the number of calories burned when at rest, Patel said. Another possible contributor to weight regulation that’s come to light recently is called ‘non-exercise associated thermogenesis’ or NEAT, which refers to involuntary activity such as fidgeting or standing instead of sitting. It may be, Patel said, that if people who sleep less, also move around or ‘fidget’ less.”

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