Yes. It’s not that your body magically gets fat if you don’t go to sleep on time, but there is a very real connection between how much sleep you get and how likely you are to be overweight or obese.
A study conducted by a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at 87,000 adults. It showed that sleep duration was indeed associated with obesity in those who slept less than 6 hours a night.
Another study involving nearly 400,000 people found a linear relationship between trouble sleeping and body mass index (BMI), that is, the more nights in the past month participants had trouble sleeping, the higher the BMI.
Why is this? Recent research points towards a confluence of factors. When we don’t sleep well, it can cause a hormonal imbalance. The amount of the hunger hormone, ghrelin, for example, is is increased when sleep-deprived while the amount of the “feel-full” hormone, leptin, decreases.
This imbalance leads to craving food when you don’t really need it, and particularly food that is high in calories and sugar.
Combine chemical signals in your body telling you that you’re hungry with the lessening of will power brought about by a lack of sleep, and you can see how overeating and undersleeping are connected.
Luckily, this is an easily corrected problem. You just need to get some quality sleep! Studies have shown that the imbalance disappears once you get an adequate amount of sleep.
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