All the more to get the beauty sleep because a new study has found out that missing just four nights of good sleep can make you gain weight. For a long time, it has been known that during sleep our body heals itself and restores its chemical balance. The brain forges new connections and helps memory retention. Without enough sleep, your brain and body systems won't function normally hence heading to harmful effects on metabolism.
To give a stronger punch to the negativity of not getting proper sleep, a new study has found that just a few days of sleep deprivation can make participants feel less full after eating, and metabolise the fat in food less effectively.
The study on the effects of bad sleep to the human body was held by Kelly Ness, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington who ran the study when she was a graduate student at Pennsylvania State University.
For the study she recruited 15 healthy men in their 20s to take part in the study. After spending a week getting plenty of sleep at home, these men checked into the sleep lab for 10 nights. For five of those nights the participants spent no more than five hours in bed each night and were fed a high-fat dinner of chilli and pasta - to find out how the uncomfortable nightime schedule affected their metabolism.
"It was very palatable - none of our subjects had trouble finishing it - but very calorically dense," Ness said.
Researchers then took blood samples from the men and found that sleep deprivation led to high levels of insulin which results in the body taking fats from the meal more quickly, which can then lead to putting on weight quick.
"The lipids weren't evaporating - they were being stored," said Orfeu Buxton, a professor at Penn State, who contributed to the study.
"While this was a good mechanism in evolutionary terms, to store energy for tough times, it’s not so good in today’s developed world where we are relatively inactive and calorie-dense foods are easy to come by cheaply and without physical effort," Buxton explained.
Ness added that added that poor sleep over longer periods of time could have serious consequences for people's health.
"Across a lifetime of exposure to short sleep, this could increase the risk of obesity, diabetes or other metabolic diseases," she said.