Researchers have found a link between obesity and loss of sleep. They found that people who stayed up late were more likely to have late night snacks and have junk food cravings, both of these behaviors may lead to unhealthy eating habits.
The survey showed scientists that there may be a link between the behaviors.
Loss Of Sleep And Obesity
Researchers from the University of Arizona conducted a survey of adults in 23 metropolitan areas in the US. Participants in the survey were asked if they crave junk food when they have lack of sleep and if they had a snack before they went to bed. People in the survey were also asked about the quality of their sleep and if they had any existing health problems.
In the study, 3,105 adults participated in the phone-based survey. Researchers found that 60 percent of people ate late night snacks and that two-thirds of them craved junk food before bed. These unhealthy cravings were more prevalent among younger people with depression and poor sleep quality, the cravings were less likely among those who have never been married.
Scientists found that those who had poor sleep quality were more likely to crave junk food. Junk food cravings were linked with the likelihood that the person would have obesity, diabetes, and other health problems. They also found that junk food cravings doubled the likelihood of late night snacking. Late night snacking was found to be linked to an increase in diabetes.
Author of the study, Michael A. Grandner, says that this survey put those previous studies into perspective by showing the effects of unhealthy eating behaviors in people. Another author from the study, Christopher Sanchez, says that the study shows how sleep and eating patterns are linked and can work together to promote health.
Brain Signals And Sleep
A study from 2012 showed that inadequate sleep could lead to obesity. It showed how brain signals that control appetite regulation are affected by sleep deprivation. Researchers found that getting fewer than six hours of sleep correlated with the increased body mass index or obesity.
The lack of sleep impacts the secretion of hormones that signal increase of appetite and that indicate when the body is full. This makes the body increase the amount of food that is consumed. Researchers in the study also found that the lack of sleep and higher body mass index was stronger among children and adolescents.