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Obesity risk for women who sleep less: study

TT/The Local · 2 May 2010, 11:09

Published: 02 May 2010 11:09 GMT+02:00

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Short periods of deep sleep and dream sleep are also contribute to an increased risk of obesity, according to the study carried out at Uppsala University, the results of which are published in the May edition of the scientific journal Sleep.

"This correlation between a short sleep span and obesity was particularly strong among younger women," Jenny Theorell-Haglöw, the author of the study, told local newspaper Upsala Nya Tidning.

The study compared women who get at least eight hours sleep a night with those who sleep less. Some 400 women participated in a night-long sleep test, while also undergoing a health examination and agreeing to have the circumference of their waists measured. The study registered the duration of sleep and the length of various stages of sleep.

The waist circumference of women who slept less the five hours a night was found to be nine centimetres longer on average than for their counterparts who slept eight hours a night.

Theorell-Haglöw said there were a number of possible explanations for the connection between obesity and sleep.

"Short sleep duration, short dream sleep and short deep sleep disturb the production of cortisol and growth hormones in a way that can contribute to driving body weight upwards. Sleeping less also means more waking time when it's possible to eat," she said.

Story continues below…

The results from Uppsala tallied with earlier studies seeming to suggest that lack of sleep could be a contributory factor to growing societal problems with obesity.

"But further research is needed to answer the question as to whether there is a causal relationship," said Theorell-Haglöw.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:36 May 2, 2010 by r3tex
Correlation does not imply causality. You might as well say that fat people typically sleep less because they manage their sleep like they manage their calories; an equally likely conclusion.
21:24 May 2, 2010 by si
Oh great another useless Swedish study which makes no sense..
12:46 May 3, 2010 by tanida
the same studty reported over here in Japan,

which is popular., the lack of sleep makes health worse,

hypertension, diabates so on.

tanida in nagoya city, japan

17:58 May 3, 2010 by Puffin
I thought that lack of sleep caused cortisol levels to risk in the body that in conjuction with female hormone act like natural steroids causing fat to accumlate in the waist
17:18 May 4, 2010 by bmwhite41@hotmail.com
Very interesting. I can't imagine a more delightful way to lose my excessive weight and waist fat than sleeping an extra few hours a night!

Since belly fat is associated with increased incidence of metabolic, kidney disease and hypertension, the study is very relevant indeed.

I would be happy to contribute to the study and will communicate with the authors!

Maurene in Montreal Quebec, Canada
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