Sleep deprivation could make you gain weight, says study

New Delhi: Lack of sleep or sleep deprivation is a common complaint nowadays, courtesy a modern lifestyle and is also a trigger for a lot of other health issues like hypertension, diabetes, heart conditions, among others.

Adding another problem to the list, a study has found that sleep deprivation could be adding inches to your waistline.

According to the study, people who sleep for less than nine hours a night are more likely to be overweight.

Researchers from University of Leeds in the UK studied 1,615 adults who reported how long they slept and kept records of food intake.

Participants had blood samples taken and their weight, waist circumference and blood pressure recorded. The team looked at the associations between how long people were sleeping and these key biological parameters.

They found that people who were sleeping an average of six hours a night had a waist measurement that was three centimetres greater than individuals who were getting nine hours of sleep a night.

Shorter sleep was also linked to reduced levels of High- density lipoproteins (HDL) cholesterol in the participants’ blood-another factor that can cause health problems, researchers said.

HDL cholesterol is ‘good’ cholesterol that helps remove ‘bad’ fat from the circulation. In doing so, high HDL cholesterol levels protect against conditions such as heart disease.

“Because we found that adults who reported sleeping less than their peers were more likely to be overweight or obese, our findings highlight the importance of getting enough sleep,” said Laura Hardie from University of Leeds.

“How much sleep we need differs between people, but the current consensus is that seven to nine hours is best for most adults,” Hardie said.

The number of people with obesity worldwide has more than doubled since 1980. Obesity contributes to the development of many diseases, most notably type 2 diabetes.

Understanding why people gain weight has crucial implications for public health, said Greg Potter from University of Leeds.

The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE.