Different causes linked to a lack of sleep and increased hunger in men and women

New research published in the journal SLEEP reveals that increased sleep helps curb overeating for different reasons in men and women, which may be due to hormones.

“Restricting sleep in healthy, normal-weight participants has limited effects on metabolic risk factors and may affect food intake-regulating hormones differently in men and women,” said research author Marie-Pierre St-Onge, PhD, FAHA.

The researchers analyzed the sleep duration, glucose dysregulation and the hormonal regulation of the appetite of 27 men and women who were between 30 and 45 years old. The subjects were observed while they slept for periods of four or nine hours per night.

The results showed that a shorter duration of sleep was linked to an increased probability of overeating for both men and women, but for different reasons: Women who underslept had decreased levels of a hormone that is associated with making people feel full, while men had increased levels of a hormone that stimulates hunger.

Sleep deprivation side effects
There are myriad ailments that are associated with not getting enough sleep, such as heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, obesity and depression, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The source also notes that sleep deficiency may be related to injuries and accidents among all age groups, such as adults getting in car accidents and elderly people falling.

According to the Mayo Clinic, a lack of sleep may make people more susceptible to sickness after being exposed to a virus. During slumber, the immune system releases protective proteins known as cytokines, which are needed to fight an infection, inflammation and stress, and being deprived of sleep may limit the number of cytokines you have to prevent illness.

The Mayo Clinic also reports that adults need close to eight hours of sleep per night, while adolescents require around nine or 10 hours.

Importance of melatonin in sleep
The University of Maryland reports that melatonin, which is secreted by the pineal gland, not only keeps hormones in check, but it helps maintain the body’s circadian rhythm, or the internal clock, which aids in controlling when the body wakes up and falls asleep. Increased levels of melatonin are linked with darker settings, while melatonin levels in the body decrease when a person is exposed to light. You can get melatonin with a CalMax Sleep supplement from Dr. Newton’s Natural’s.

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