Study: Excessive Weight Can Lead to Poor Sleep


Manage episode 263777622 series 2530089
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A new study revealed that obesity causes sleep loss. Many previous studies have claimed that poor sleep quality increases one's risk of obesity. Sleep disruption can cause increased appetite and hormonal imbalance, leading a person to overeat. This increases a person’s risk of obesity. However, new research shows that it is actually obesity that causes poor sleep and not the other way around. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine and the University of Nevada examined roundworms. They genetically altered the roundworms by deactivating a brain cell that regulates sleep. The deactivation caused the roundworms to lose their ability to sleep. As a result, the roundworms’ energy critically dropped. Fat also accumulated in the worms’ bodies. The researchers hypothesized that when subjects released stored fat, they had better sleep. To prove this, they conducted another test. This time, they enabled the roundworms to process stored fat, and after doing so, the roundworms were able to sleep again. The researchers then suggested that people with obesity may experience poor sleep because of communication problems between the body’s stored fat and the brain cells regulating sleep. According to David Raizen, one of the researchers, the study’s findings may not apply to humans. However, the study provides a model for studying sleep among mammals in general. Raizen added that the new research is essential to developing a treatment for sleep problems and understanding the impact of sleep on one’s body.

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