Sleep and Health Effects (From and up and coming ebook)
Chronic sleep loss, whether behavioural or sleep disorder related, may represent a novel risk factor for weight gain, insulin resistance, and Type 2 diabetes.
A study took Eleven healthy men in their 20s. and only allowed 4 hours of sleep for six straight nights. The findings show that Sleep debt has a harmful impact on carbohydrate metabolism and endocrine function. The effects of lack of sleep are similar to those seen in normal ageing and, therefore, sleep debt may increase the severity of age-related chronic disorders. The young men had the insulin sensitivity of a 70-year-old pre-diabetic by the end of the study.
Sleep debt affects the way we metabolise carbohydrates and it also affects our hormones relating to hunger as well,
A study took 12 healthy men and put them on 2 days of sleep restriction and 2 days of sleep extension under controlled conditions of caloric intake and physical activity and measured their Daytime profiles of plasma leptin (Leptin is the hormone that tells our brain we’re full) and ghrelin (Ghrelin tells our brain that we’re hungry and need food) levels and subjective ratings of hunger and appetite.
The results show that Sleep restriction was associated with average reductions in the hormone leptin (decrease, 18%), elevations in ghrelin (increase, 28%), and increased hunger (increased, 24%) and appetite (increase, 23%), especially for calorie-dense foods with high starchy carbohydrate content (increase, 33% to 45%) (117.)
The men reported higher overall hunger ratings, especially cravings for energy-dense, processed foods like sweets, baked goods and bread. This is because low leptin and high ghrelin both stimulate hunger and appetite, Thus, scientists speculate that deregulation of appetite hormones could be another reason that sleep deprivation results in body fat gains.