Sleepless nights can increase the desire to eat, reduce the feeling of satiety and lead to weight gain. And the impacts on the body can occur at any age, with induced metabolic dysregulation being responsible.
The explanation is that certain substances are produced abnormally, explains sleep medicine specialist and researcher at the Sleep Institute, Erika Treptow. “Ghrelin, a substance associated with the urge to eat, strongly increases [com a falta de sono]. Just one night when we sleep little is enough for your level to increase,” he says. The information comes from Agência Brasil.
Leptin is also altered
Lack of sleep can reduce the production of leptin, which is the hormone associated with satiety, explains the researcher. Study published in 2022 in the scientific journal JAMA internal medicine, showed that increasing sleep by 90 minutes per night reduced daily caloric intake by 270 kcal, which in the long term can lead to significant weight loss.
According to the researcher, insufficient sleep also shortens the fast that occurs when the body is asleep. “Those who end up sleeping less have more time, more opportunities, more hours in which they can eat. Sleeping less is also very tiring, so the person has more difficulty exercising , for example “.
Fat also interferes with sleep
But it’s not just lack of sleep that ends up causing weight gain. The reverse can also happen. According to Treptow, excess fat can disrupt sleep.
“When we gain a lot of weight, especially depending on where that weight accumulates, there is a tendency for snoring, sleep apnea and poorer quality sleep.”
To improve sleep, the specialist recommends, mainly, regular bedtimes. “Our body works according to a rhythm and this rhythm is mainly dictated by our sleeping and waking times, our meal times and the light we receive during the day”.
“All the cells in the body work according to this rhythm. From the moment when I sleep every day at a different time, this disorder leads to a greater risk of illness,” he underlines.