Have you ever heard of this? A lack of sleep can be contributing to that fat around your middle section! Newsmax.com just published some results from a UK Study that found lack of sleep adds belly fat. The article is entitled “Is a Lack of Sleep Adding to your Waistline?” This article was written by Sylvia Booth Hubbard on July 28, 2017.

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Is a Lack of Sleep Adding to your Waistline?

Adults who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to be overweight and obese than those who sleep well, and their waistlines are larger, says a study from the U.K.’s University of Leeds. In addition, those who sleep poorly also have poorer metabolic health, which can lead to Type 2 diabetes.

Researchers found that people who slept an average of six hours a night had waistlines that were more than an inch larger than those who got nine hours of sleep a night. The shorter sleepers also weighed more.

“The number of people with obesity worldwide has more than doubled since 1980,” said Leeds researcher Greg Potter. “Obesity contributes to the development of many diseases, most notably Type 2 diabetes. Understanding why people gain weight has crucial implications for public health.”

Shorter sleep was also linked to reduced levels of HDL cholesterol in the participants’ blood —  another factor that can cause health problems. HDL cholesterol is “good” cholesterol that helps remove “bad” fat from circulation and protects against conditions such as heart disease.

“Because we found that adults who reported sleeping less than their peers were more likely to be overweight or obese, our findings highlight the importance of getting enough sleep,” said lead researcher Dr. Laura Hardie. “How much sleep we need differs between people, but the current consensus is that seven to nine hours is best for most adults.”

The study’s findings were published in the journal PLOS ONE.

As many as 50 percent of American adults suffer from acute insomnia each year, which is defined as having difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep at least three nights a week for between two weeks and three months.

About 10 percent of Americans suffer from chronic insomnia, which is defined by difficulty falling and staying asleep that lasts longer than three months.

What to do? Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine say that getting up and out of bed when insomnia strikes may prevent it from becoming chronic. For example, say the researchers, if someone goes to sleep at 11 p.m. and wakes up at 5 a.m. (versus an intended 7:30 a.m.), they should get up and start their day, rather than lie awake in bed.

Choosing to stay awake (rather than staying in bed trying to sleep) is not only a productive strategy for an individual with acute insomnia, it is also recommended by the American College of Physicians as a part of cognitive behavioral therapy for chronic insomnia.