If sleeplessness and obesity occur concurrently, then this may be due to the hypocretin or orexin cells in the hypothalamus region of the brain. These cells are easily excitable and sensitive to stress.
In daily stressful living these cells in the brain may be over excited and maintain a state of sustained arousal that can lead to sleeplessness ness and overeating. The more stress the body undergoes on a routine basis, lower goes the threshold for excitability of these cells.
The cells, which have hypocretin neurons that correlate with the arousal and alertness, have been found in a excitable condition in mice with a unique organization of inputs that make the excitatory nerve junctions outnumber inhibitory contacts by almost ten times.
In human beings these cells may remain excitable in the post menopausal age in women, as at that time women report insomnia and the tendency to put on extra weight also increases.
Previous studies have linked obesity to insomnia and a good night's sleep has been suggested to overcome the problem of extra weight. The new study makes both independent of each other and links both of them to brain cells that are direct fallout of a stressful life