SLEEP IS A METABOLICALLY ACTIVE STATE
Lots of activity takes place while we’re asleep. Sleep influences glucose metabolism, and triggers or inhibits the release of various hormones.
Lack of sleep has been shown to result in decreased glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, as well as increased concentrations of cortisol, the “fight or flight” hormone that can activate fat storage and trigger glucose release. Less sleep also increases levels of ghrelin, which stimulates hunger, while depressing levels of leptin, which tends to dampen appetite.
Researchers from the University of Chicago reviewed the scientific literature related to sleep and weight (1). They conclude that recent findings from population health studies an laboratory evidence, support the association between sleep loss and increased risk of obesity.
If too little or poor sleep are risk factors for developing obesity, people with a family history of type-2 diabetes may need to pay even closer attention to their sleep habits, according to the findings of another carefully conducted study(2) from the same university. The study’s investigators looked at dietary patterns, daily activity levels, and the amount and quality of sleep in healthy adults with a parental history of type-2 diabetes.
Those who reported poorer sleep quality exhibited increased hunger, and more uncontrolled and emotional eating. These findings suggest that reduced sleep quality may be a sensitive indicator of problem eating patterns in people at high risk of type-2 diabetes.