A new study shows that sleep loss can lead to weight gain. It’s no secret that losing sleep is bad for you. But until now, there has never been a clear connection between sleep loss and gaining weight.
This new information is bad news for people who do shift work. If you work an irregular schedule or are constantly working overtime you could be at risk for gaining weight.
Why Does Losing Sleep Affect Your Weight?
The metabolism is regulated in part by regular and healthy sleep. So it you aren’t getting the sleep you need, your metabolism could get thrown off and your body composition could change.
Your body is not meant to be awake all night, so if you are working a night shift your body behaves differently than when you are awake during the day. Your body can actually store more fat after a night of no sleep. It also can break down proteins in your muscles leading to muscle loss.
Health Risks of Losing Sleep
Your body also handles glucose differently after a night of less or no sleep. If your system for handling glucose levels is off, you could be at risk for type 2 diabetes. So losing sleep is no joke.
This recent study took data from one night of sleep loss from its participants. There has yet to be a study of long-term sleep loss. It’s possible that the body adjusts to strange sleep schedules. But it’s also possible that chronic sleep loss is even worse than losing just one night of sleep.
Based on anecdotal evidence alone it’s easy to say that losing sleep in the long term is not a good thing. Now that we know that sleep loss can put us at risk for weight gain and more serious problems, it’s certainly something that should be avoided if possible.