Link between partial sleep deprivation and weight gain has been identified in a recent study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
More than 35 percent of American adults are obese and more than 28 percent sleep less than six hours a night. While weight-loss strategies incorporate lifestyle changes focusing on diet and exercise, modifications in an individual's daily routine, including sleep behaviors, can help manage weight.
"Various investigations, although diverse, indicate an effect of partial sleep deprivation on body weight management," says lead investigator Sharon M. Nickols-Richardson, PhD, MD, professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park. "The intriguing relationship between partial sleep deprivation and excess adiposity makes partial sleep deprivation a factor of interest in body weight regulation, particularly in weight loss."
"Changes in these hormones coinciding with an energy-reduced diet paired with changes in response to partial sleep deprivation may be expected to increase ghrelin and decrease leptin concentrations even further to promote hunger," says Dr. Nickols-Richardson.
The paper calls for further research to determine the effects of sleep deprivation on body composition and substrate use and suggests evaluation of an individual's sleep patterns combined with regular, sufficient sleep may benefit healthy weight management.