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How your mood and weight are related to sleep

10-05-2014

How your mood and weight are related to sleep

It seems that your weight, your mood and your sleep are all linked together in a range of interesting ways. A new study has found that bad sleep makes obese people have greater mood disturbances while another study has found that lack of sleep makes your more hungry and another study that has shown that obese people struggle to get enough sleep.

All of this tells us that issues that we thought were independent in the past appear to be far more connected than we had ever imagined and if we want to take care of one issue then you should probably look at taking care of all three. If you are overweight, struggle with sleep and find yourself suffering from emotional disturbances then chances are that these are all connected and if you want to get happy and healthy then you need to take care of all three.

Let’s look at all the components individually. First the study that found that bad sleep impacts obese people worse. The research found that poor sleep causes the extremely obese to have mood disturbances and even a lower quality of life. About 75 percent of the study’s participants were bad sleepers, with a mean sleep duration of only six hours and 20 minutes. 52 percent of study participants said that they were anxious, with 43 percent saying they were depressed.

In the second study of interest, researchers found that lack of sleep actually increases a person’s appetite. Our appetite is largely controlled by the balance of two hormones, leptin and ghrelin. Lack of sleep causes leptin levels to go down and ghrelin levels to go up. The decrease in leptin and increase in ghrelin makes people hungry and not just hungry but they crave fattier foods as well. In the study they measured peoples levels and matched that with their sleep levels. They found that those who slept for less than eight hours in a night not only had lower levels of leptin and higher levels of ghrelin, but they also had a higher level of body fat and that the level of body fat seemed to correlate with their sleep patterns. The participants who slept the fewest hours per night weighed the most.

The third study is one that looks at obesity and sleep quality, in particular the prevalence of sleep apnea amongst people who are overweight. Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders in the modern world, with an estimated 12 percent of the adult population suffering from it, and the most common cause of apnea is obesity.

In other words, being overweight can impact your sleep, not sleeping enough can make you more overweight and the impacts of sleep deprivation on your emotions and health are more serious when you are overweight. This is a warning to anyone who is has sleep, weight and mood issues, sort them all out together as they are all closely connected.


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