Getting more sleep could help overcome obesity: study

ISLAMABAD: A new study at University of Washington Medicine Sleep Centre has found that those who get more than nine hours sleep are less likely to put on weight and could help overcome unwanted pounds.

“Those who get lots of sleep — meaning around nine hours a night– are less likely to put on weight, even if they have the genes that predispose them to weight gain”.

A number of studies have shown there is a connection between sleep and weight. Some studies have found that people who sleep less than five hours a night have an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

The study was published in the Journal “Sleep” of the University of Washington Medicine Sleep Center, a private news channel reported.

As expected, the participants who reported they slept the least had an increased risk for having an elevated BMI (body mass index). Among the participants who were getting less than seven hours of sleep per night, their genes seemed to play more than twice as large a role in determining their BMI than those who were getting nine or more hours of sleep each night.

“The results suggest that shorter sleep provides a more permissive environment for the expression of obesity related genes,” study leader Dr. Nathaniel Watson said in a statement.

“Or it may be that extended sleep is protective by suppressing expression of obesity genes.” It is not known exactly which genes affect our weight, but some research has suggested the genes that govern glucose metabolism play a role, as do genes affecting energy use, fatty acid storage and “satiety” — meaning how hungry we feel after eating.

Previous research has also shown that sleep deprivation can play havoc with hunger hormones, decreasing the levels of those hormones that make us feel full.