Sleep more, lose weight. Sounds mad doesn’t it? But according to new research from the UK there are weight considerations associated with getting a good night’s sleep.
Dr. Shahrad Taheri of the Laboratories for Integrative Neurosciences and Endocrinology at Bristol University has produced a paper called “The mechanisms for the interaction between sleep and metabolism.” In it he reveals that we sleep an average of an hour and a half less than people a hundred years ago. As the western nations are approach an obesity epidemic he examined the relationship between body mass index and sleep. He revealed the roles of two key hormones that are involved in regulating appetite – ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin increases feelings of hunger while leptin acts to suppress appetite. People who regularly slept for just five hours were found to have more ghrelin and less leptin than those people who normally slept for eight hours. His findings suggest that alterations in sleep time could impact the development of obesity. The work continues – in the meantime – get to bed.