Does lack of sleep cause weight gain?

Not enough sleep causes our bodies store fat

Researchers at Pennsylvania State University have discovered that just a few days of sleep deprivation can make us feel less full after eating.

After spending a week getting plenty of sleep at home, 15 healthy men in their 20s checked into the sleep lab for the ten-night study. For five of those nights the men spent no more than five hours in bed each night.

The researchers gave participants a standardized high-fat dinner – a bowl of chili mac – after four nights of sleep restriction.

Most participants felt less satisfied after eating the same rich meal while sleep deprived than when they had eaten it well-rested.

A bowl of mac and cheese only feels filling and satisfying if you are well rested

If you are tired and sleep-deprived, you’ll want a second helping

Lack of sleep also changes the way our bodies metabolize the fats from our food

Researchers also found that men who were sleep deprived tended to store the fat from their evening meal. But when the person was well rested, less fat was stored from their food.

The experimenters had a simulated work week – five nights of only 5 hours of sleep. And a whole weekend of 10 hours sleep per night, to catch up on the lost shut-eye.

But even after the weekend rest, the volunteers biological reaction to food did not revert back to what it was before the experiment.

After the first night of good sleep they ate a bowl of chili mac and cheese. Although participants’ metabolic handling of fat from their food was slightly better after one night of recovery sleep, they didn’t recover to the baseline healthy level.


In other news : It’s not what you eat but when you eat, that makes a difference

Read more …

The experiment shows that the effects of lack of sleep continue, even when we have got back into a good sleep pattern. But the researchers did not find how many nights of good sleep, it takes, to get back to a healthy reaction to high fat food.

It might take several, continuous nights, of good sleep for our bodies to return to what they were before the sleep deprivation period.

Or maybe, or bodies never recover from a period of poor sleep. The experiment ended after 10 days, so the researchers don’t have those answers.

But one thing is clear; for those of us who want to reduce the fat on our bodies, we need to get to bed and get some quality shut-eye. Sweet dreams!


Source: https://www.jlr.org/content/60/11/1935

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Upsetting day? Sleep on it – you’ll feel better

Problems seem small after a good night's sleep

Upset by something unpleasant?

We have all been there.

And we usually find we feel better about the next day.

At least: if you have restful REM sleep.

Stressful and upsetting events trigger a “siren” in out brains, to makes us more aware of potential danger.

Researchers at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience discovered why you will be better able to bear tomorrow what you are distressed about today. And why that can go wrong.

A good night’s sleep, specifically REM sleep, is needed to “reset” this siren in our brains.

The Experiment

The researchers placed their participants in a MRI scanner in the evening and presented a specific odour while they made them feel upset.

The brain scans showed how the amygdala became active.

The participants then spent the night in the sleep lab, while the activity of their sleeping brain was measured with EEG, and the specific odor was presented again on occasion.

The next morning, the researchers tried to upset their volunteers again, in exactly the same way as the night before. But now they did not succeed so well in doing this.

Brain circuits had adapted overnight; the siren of the brain no longer went off. The amygdala responded much less, especially in those who had had a lot of restful REM sleep and where meanwhile exposed to the specific odor.

The finding can be of great importance for about two-thirds of all people with a mental disorder, as both restless REM sleep and a hyperactive amygdala are the hallmarks of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety disorders, depression and insomnia.

  • People with PTSD carry their traumatic experience to the next day:
  • People with an anxiety disorder take their greatest fear with them into the next day
  • People with depression carry their despair into the next day
  • People with chronic insomnia hold onto their tension into the next day

Restless sleepers

However, among the participants were also people with restless REM sleep.

Things went surprisingly different for them.

Brain circuits had not adapted well overnight: the siren of the brain continued to sound the next morning.

And while the nocturnal exposure to the odour helped people with restful REM sleep adapt, the people who had restless REM sleep felt worse by being exposed to the odour.

The evidence is that REM sleep helps “reset” some of the active pathways in the brain.

And it is this “resetting” that helps the upsets and anxieties of yesterday, fade away.


Source: https://nin.nl/rem-sleep-silences-siren-brain/

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