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Sleeplessness can make you fat

Updated on November 30, 2007

Health consciousness was not in my genes! My story of weight gain in the initial stage of my life revolved around my parents, who believed in eating good food (oily, buttery and fatty) and were against wastage.

They insisted me to leave my plate clean or else it will call for the curse of god. I obeyed them as a good child, thinking that I am fortunate enough to get three times meal for which I should be thankful to god. This sort of superstitious thinking has triggered my weight gain.

Though I developed a habit of eating less and healthy food over the years, the foundation remained untouched without factual difference. I became an enthusiast of health consciousness later and started following the path of my so called friends who were on an health expedition.

The habit of browsing health magazines, journals and innumerable sites had given me first hand information about the current scenario on health front. One of such instances gave me a piece of startling information which I thought to circulate among you all. It is about lack of sleep which can contribute weight gain.

I always believed in the concept of Bruce O’Hara (University of Kentucky) that feeling sleepy may lie in your genes. The genes are responsible for 24 hours body clock which influence not only the timing of sleep but also appears to be central to the actual restorative process of sleep. The benefits of sleep are still unknown but it seems likely that sleep serves some biological functions for the brain such as energy restoration for brain cells or memory consolidation. Keeping this in mind, I thought about the hazards of sleeplessness and wondered about it.

I had gone through the report by PTI with curiosity, which revealed that other than the three major contributors of weight gain viz. sugar, carbs, and fat there is a fourth i.e. lack of sleep. This revelation has made me crazy.

In a recent study carried out by researchers in United States it has been established that people who get less sleep at night are more likely to choose food the next day that will put on extra pounds.

The researchers at the University of Pennsylvania came to the conclusion that people are less motivated to make healthy food choices when they are really tired after recording the sleep hours and food intake of 50 undergraduates over a period of 4 days, and calculating the number of calories in meals.

In the first night, the participants slept for 8 hours while in the second night they slept for 4 hours or less. On the following day, the researchers found that the sleepy students mainly chose food based on convenience whatever was easiest to prepare or buy.

Though in today’s competitive environment, career priorities are more important than a good night’s sleep, a commitment towards our fitness regime is the need of the hour.

Now we have one more reason to have sufficient sleep to keep the weight gain at bay.

Adjust your clock accordingly and stop worrying………..


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