Hot Topic

Ask the Dr - Sleep and Fat Loss

What does one night of sleep deprivation do?

Getting enough beauty sleep might do more for you than simply keeping you from the puffy-eyed look. Research suggests you may also be derailing you weight loss efforts by burning the midnight candle.

In a study published by the journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism, the researchers concluded that a single all-nighter can disrupt your ability to regulate glucose. That is it can induce insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance makes you a prime candidate for diabetes. This means you, by means of the hormone insulin, are not making good use of the sugar in your bloodstream. Your body does however try to defend itself by shoving glucose into fat cells as best it can, but unfortunately too much glucose left unused eventually transforms into toxic compounds such as "advanced glycation end products", or AGES. In the meantime the rest of your cells are starving not being able to use this energy. Definitely, not something you want to hear when you wake up.

Nine healthy subjects were studied. What is healthy you ask? Their weight was stable for the last 3 months, their BMI was less than 26 kg/m2, they had no history of sleep or psychiatric disorders, or were on glucose control medication and they had no problems sleeping 6 to 9 hours a night. Also, the methods for measuring insulin sensitivity were those considered to be gold standard for this kind of protocol. This was a carefully designed study worth listening too.

Subjects restricted to 4 hours of snooze increased their production of glucose by 22%, decreased their rate of glucose disposal by 20% as well as their insulin sensitivity by 19-25%. To make matters worse lipolysis, fat breakdown, decreased significantly as well. There did not seem to be any differences, however, in levels of other hormones such as glucagon or cortisol.

In the past researchers had observed this effect after several nights of repeated sleep deprivation. This study is eye-popping information because this is the first study to prove that one single night of less than optimal sleep could be a problem for glucose control in a variety of metabolic pathways.

FOLLOW Dr Paul Cribb PhD.


Like this recipe?

Share recipe