More than a year ago I did a post about sleep and weight loss that focused primarily on how sleep affects cortisol and insulin. Since that post, more information has come out on the subject. You can refer to my previous post for information on cortisol and insulin, today I will focus on the updates.
We all know that genetic factors play a role in obesity, but genes can be turned on and off. This study looked at twins to account for genetic differences. It was found the genes accounted for 70% of the differences in weight found in those that slept less than 7 hours per night. Whereas environmental factors (diet, exercise, etc…) only accounted for 4%. For those that slept 9 or more hours per night, environmental factors had a 51% effect. That is a great thing! It means that they had essentially turned the McFatty gene off, so diet and exercise made a bigger difference. Looking at involved hormones, researchers noted that those that slept less had much lower leptin levels and much higher grehlin levels. Leptin is your I am satisfied hormone, whereas ghrelin is your eat everything in site hormone.
So, get some sleep and help your diet and exercise programs do their jobs!
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