Lack of sleep could lead to weight gain, according to a new study. The latest findings reveal that sleep deprivation could change your metabolism and boosts the body’s ability to store fat.
Jonathan Cedernaes, a circadian researcher at Uppsala University in Sweden and the paper’s first author, said that the research highlights “the irreplaceable function that sleep has”. The study, published in Science Advances, involved 15 healthy volunteers each attending a testing session on two occasions, once after a good night’s sleep and once after not having slept. They gave samples of fat and muscle tissue and blood.
Sleep-deprived participants showed gene activity whereby cells increased their tendency to absorb lipids and also to multiply. In muscle, there were found to be reduced levels of structural proteins, which are the building blocks the body requires to maintain and build muscle mass.
Authors asserted that they would need to do further research to see whether or not their findings were still applicable to those with long-term sleep disruption or deprivation, for example, those who do night shifts.
The link between lack of sleep and obesity is well known. In 2018, a review of 28 studies found that those who permanently work night shifts are 29 per cent more likely to develop obesity than those who work them temporarily.