Obesity Linked to a Lack of Sleep
Fact: Sleep Less and You Eat More:  Sleep Disorders Trigger 'Hunger Hormones'

Adults in the United States who are either overweight or obese (Body Mass Index greater than 30), the percentage is increasing every day.  This is because many people are eating more (super-sized portions) and exercising less.

National Sleep Foundations 2005 Sleep in America poll confirms an epidemic of obesity in America.  Based on body mass index (BMI) measures, the poll finds: 

64% of respondents are overweight or obese due to impact of sleep.
Those considered obese are more likely to get less than 6 hours of sleep on and frequently have daytime sleepiness.
Obese people are nearly 6 times as likely to be at risk for sleep apnea. 

A new research study, which appeared in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, finds that chronic sleep deprivation may be part of America's obesity problem.   Author Eve van Cauter, Ph.D., a diabetes researcher with the University of Chicago, reports, Sleep deprivation plays an important role in regulating our leptin levels and in controlling appetite. 
Lack of sleep can lower the appetite control hormone, leptin according to Dr Cauter.  Leptin is a hormone which controls obesity, produced by fat cells. Leptin level notifies the brain when the body does or doesn't need more food.  According to Dr. Cauters work, sleep deprivation triggers hormones which can lower leptin levels and other hormones that control metabolism are also triggered by sleep deprivation and may affect leptin levels.
 The undiagnosed /untreated sleep disorders can have devastating effects on a number of health conditions for obese patients.  Dr. van Cauter explains, For example, the more obese the patient, the more likely he or she will suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).  The more obese, the more severe the OSAand the more sever the OSA, the greater likelihood of obesity.  In fact, when sleep is under seven hours, BMI is higher.

Weight, fitness, and lifestyle are important determinants of the metabolic syndrome in young adults

Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea 

Obstructive Sleep Apnea treatment can result in an increase in daytime energy. Treatment of OSA involves the use of a small CPAP mask which opens up the airway and "unblocks" the obstruction. Patients often report a new enthusiasm for life after successful treatment.  This increases energy and may lead to a person exercising more and/ or being increasingly active in general.  Therefore, reducing their overall body weight improves the quality and length of sleep for daytime wellness.

OURCE: Van Cauter, E. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, November 2004; vol 89: pp 5762-5771. 
Eve van Cauter, PhD, University of Chicago. Satya P. Kalra, MD, professor of neuroscience, University of Florida, Gainesville.  

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