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You have the impression of gaining weight without necessarily eating more: what if it was a lack of sleep?

Lack of sleep can make you fat for several reasons. Whether hormonal or behavioral, the consequences of a sleep deficit can affect the balance, explanations.

Sleep and nutrition are closely related. If these appear complex, many studies have reported correlation reports between sleep disorders and the risk of overweight and obesity. By what mechanisms?

A matter of hormones

The links between the sleep-wake rhythm and the metabolism are explained through two main components. One, hormonal, affects the control of hunger and appetite, through, for example, the ghrelin willingly secreted during the day and which tends to stimulate the appetite. While leptin, the satiety hormone, produced during sleep, inhibits it.

A reduction in sleep time will therefore disturb this hormonal balance with concentrations of ghrelin and leptin likely to change. Result: we are hungrier and we tend to lose this feeling of satiety. Other hormones such as cortisol and even growth hormone also see their secretion disturbed in the event of disturbance of the sleep-wake cycle.

A matter of behavior

The second component is behavioral. Under the effect of a reduction in sleep time, our eating behavior changes both at night and during the day. “When we sleep less, we have, day and night, more time for ourselves and we tend to snack”, recalls the Institute of Sleep and Vigilance.

Which also reports an “increased sensitivity of the reward system”. In other words, this nibbling is readily characterized by sweet or savory sweets, for example…



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