Study Links Insufficient Sleep to Weight Gain

A recent study has found that the lack of sleep causes cravings before bedtime. When people experience these signs, they could consume too many calories, thus leading to accumulations of fat in the abdomen. These findings were the result of a study by Mayo Clinic.

Reasons people don’t get enough sleep

Many studies have looked into sleep patterns, with some finding that people require about 7 to 9 hours of sleep daily. While many researchers support this recommendation, many people living in the U.S don’t manage to sleep this much. Approximately one-third of the population cannot sleep this much due to some factors. Others are unaware of the recommendation.

One of the reasons people don’t get enough sleep is doomscrolling. This phenomenon affects people of different age groups. It refers to people consistently using their screens instead of going to bed, making it more difficult to fall asleep.

Visceral fat accumulates due to lack of sleep

The lack of sleep in the body causes weight gain as fat accumulates in the body. A type of fat that accumulates is visceral fat. This fat wraps around organs, making it dangerous. If people have too much, it could cause organ dysfunction. Some diseases people get from visceral fat accumulation are kidney and heart-related.

Most people who don’t get enough sleep on weekdays try to make up for it on the weekend. This practice is beneficial as it could help them lose weight. However, it does not affect visceral fat, which is generally harder to lose.

According to Virend Somers, the lead study author and expert in cardiovascular medicine at Mayo Clinic, this study demonstrates that lack of sleep could significantly increase weight gain. He adds that when sleep insufficiency is severe, it could cause obesity, metabolic issues, and cardiovascular diseases.

For the study, the researchers gathered 12 participants with no health issues. They got them to sleep four hours each night for two weeks. The scientists also had a control group that slept for 9 hours every night.

Researchers found that the people who slept for four hours consumed 300 more calories than the control group. A CT scan also shows that they had accumulated visceral fat.

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