Losing sleep may disrupt our metabolism

Research Summary
Alexander Nguyen
Research Assistant

A recent study from the University of Leeds suggests that people with healthy sleep patterns - roughly 7-9 hours a night - weighed less, had a lower chance of being obese, and had better overall metabolic health.

Blood pressure, weight, and body measurements were taken from over 1500 adults who also provided a description of their sleeping habits. Participants then carefully recorded their own diets for 4 days. The researchers expected to find a relationship between less sleep and a more unhealthy diet but there was no such association. Instead, they found that those who sleep more tended to have lower body mass indexes (BMI) and waist sizes. The study also found that unhealthy sleep patterns were associated with lower levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL) that protects against health problems such as heart disease. While there was no direct associated between sleep and dietary choices, other studies have found that lack of sleep increases feelings of hunger.

While the relationship between diet and sleep is still being examined, it seems safe to say that skipping out on sleep means skipping out on health.