Welcome to Johns Hopkins Health Alerts!

"Johns Hopkins Health Alerts is an excellent site and I have recommended it to several of my friends. Thanks again, and keep up the good work!"
  • - D. Ambrosio


This free public service from Johns Hopkins Medicine helps keep you up to date on the latest breakthroughs for the most common medical conditions which prevent healthy aging.

Get the latest news sent straight to your inbox for FREE. Check all the boxes below for the topics that interest you.
We value your privacy and will never rent your email address

Johns Hopkins Health Alert

Sleep Deprivation -- A Link to Obesity?

Comments (0)

One more reason to get a good night’s sleep: a recent study shows that people who sleep the least weigh the most.

Unfortunately, more and more Americans suffer from chronic sleep deprivation, with over one third of American adults now sleeping less than seven hours each night. Getting less than the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep a night can lead to poor concentration, raise the risk of colds and other infections and leave you feeling worn out and easily irritated. Now research has uncovered an association between chronic sleep deprivation and obesity. Whether sleeping more can help protect people against weight gain and obesity, however, is not yet clear.

Does less sleep=more weight?

Obesity rates have risen sharply in the United States in the last 20 years. This increase in obesity is a cause for concern because being overweight contributes to many medical disorders, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, stroke, cancer and osteoarthritis. The rising tide of obesity has been attributed to poor eating habits, the wide availability of high-fat foods, watching too much television and a sharp decline in physical activity. Several recent studies have raised the question of whether sleep deprivation should be added to this list.

In a study involving 924 participants between the ages of 18 and 91, reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers found that people who slept the least weighed the most. Another recent study analyzed data on about 18,000 adults who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Compared with people who got seven to nine hours of rest each night, people who regularly slept less than four hours nightly were 73 percent more likely to suffer from obesity.

One hypothesis is that shorter sleep duration is linked with imbalances in two hormones, leptin and ghrelin. Leptin is produced by fat cells and tells the brain when to stop eating, while ghrelin, which is produced by the stomach, triggers hunger. Leptin levels decline while ghrelin levels rise in people who are not getting enough sleep. But no studies thus far have suggested that how much you sleep has a direct impact on whether you lose or gain weight.

The bottom line on the link between obesity and sleep deprivation

“The association between inadequate sleep and obesity is undeniable, but whether there is a cause-and-effect relationship is dubious,” observes Lawrence J. Cheskin, M.D., Director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center. Sleep deprivation may be the consequence, rather than the cause, of obesity. Sleep apnea, for example, may be a potential confounding factor because it is more common among people who are obese and can itself lead to poor sleep and sleep deprivation.

 

Posted in Nutrition and Weight Control on October 12, 2006
Reviewed June 2011


Medical Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute for the advice of a physician. Click here for additional information: Johns Hopkins Health Alerts Disclaimer


Notify Me

Would you like us to inform you when we post new Nutrition and Weight Control Health Alerts?

Post a Comment

Comments

Health Alerts registered users may post comments and share experiences here at their own discretion. We regret that questions on individual health concerns to the Johns Hopkins editors cannot be answered in this space.

The views expressed here do not constitute medical advice, and do not represent the position of Johns Hopkins Medicine or Remedy Health Media, LLC, which has no responsibility for any comments posted on this site.


Post a Comment


Already a subscriber?

Login

Forgot your password?

New to Johns Hopkins Health Alerts?

Register to submit your comments.

(example: yourname@domain.com)

Customer Service

Registered Users Log-in:

Forgot Password?

Become a Registered User!
It's fast and FREE!
The Benefits of Being a Registered User

Johns Hopkins Bestsellers: Nutrition and Weight Control

Johns Hopkins White Papers

2014 Nutrition and Weight Control White Paper
The evidence is overwhelming: a diet abundant in nutrient-rich foods can be a powerful tool in preventing disease. Maintaining a healthy weight through a combination of diet and exercise is known to lower the risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis, and many kinds of cancer. In the Nutrition and Weight Control White Paper, nutrition and weight control experts from Johns Hopkins show you how to follow a balanced diet, and to lose unwanted pounds safely, and keep them off. Get facts, not fads, to help you stay healthy and lose weight.
Read more or order now





The Johns Hopkins Medical Letter: Health After 50
Since 1988, Hopkins experts have been reporting the latest cutting-edge information on treating the major medical conditions affecting those over 50. Women's health, men's medical concerns, nutrition, weight control, breakthroughs, new medications, and more, mailed directly to you from our specialists.
Read more, or order now...

Health Topic Pages

  • Health Alert
  • Special Report

What is this?

XML