I know, I know, you’re probably tired of us—and everyone else in your life—preaching
the importance of getting enough sleep…
If you’re still resisting because the Netflix series you’re watching is way more interesting
and addicting than sleeping, maybe this fact will do it for you:
Those who go to bed and wake up at the same time each morning are
less overweight than those who don’t!
New evidence of this came from a Duke University study this month
) that examined
2,000 adults’ sleep schedules and patterns. The study concluded adults who have a
regular bed time and a regular wake-up time are less obese than those who don’t.
On top of this, those with consistent bed and wake times have lower blood sugar levels
and are at a lower risk of developing various heart diseases including hypertension and
Type 2 diabetes.
The thought behind the evidence is that a consistent sleep schedule helps your body’s
circadian rhythm stay on point, and also helps other processes in your body, such as
appetite and digestion, function optimally.
Further, sleep is important for glucose metabolism, so it makes sense that not getting
enough of it results in metabolic and endocrine changes, such as a decrease in glucose
tolerance and insulin sensitivity, increased levels of hormones, like cortisol and ghrelin,
and decreased levels of leptin (a hormone related to appetite). All of this means more
hunger and appetite when you sleep less, which can lead to eating too much the next
day and ultimately a greater chance of becoming obese in the long term.
The long and the short of it is: Consistent sleep times = better metabolic health and less
Of course, we don’t expect you to put all your faith in one study. So, here are some
more peer-reviewed evidence about sleep’s connection to metabolism.
This 2011 study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2929498/ showed a
strong link between sleep duration and sleep quality with obesity.
This 2010 study ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2951287/ assigned
participants the number of hours they were allowed to sleep each night (either 5.5 or 8.5
hours) for 14 nights. They all cut their caloric intake by 680 calories and slept in the lab
for the duration of the study. Those who slept 5.5 hours lost 55 percent less body fat
and 60 percent less lean body mass than those who were allowed to sleep for 8.5
hours. Finally, an analysis of 36 studies that included 635,000 people
discovered those who don’t get enough sleep are 50 percent more
likely to be obese, while a child who doesn’t get enough sleep is 90
percent more likely to be obese than those who do!