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Work Life Balance: Can Lack of Sleep Make You Fat?

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, June 11th, 2015

Can losing just half an hour of sleep have long-term consequences for body weight and metabolism? Yet another reason to strive for work life balance.

Researchers recruited 522 patients who had been recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. At the beginning of the study, the participants’ height, weight and waist circumference were measured and samples of their blood analyzed for insulin sensitivity. Participants kept sleep diaries, from which their weekday “sleep debt” was calculated.

sleep deprived nurseThose who had weekday sleep debt were found to be 72% more likely to be obese, compared with participants with no weekday sleep debt. By follow-up at 6 months, the association between weekday sleep debt and obesity and insulin resistance was significant. At 12-month follow-up, the researchers calculated that for every 30 minutes of weekday sleep debt there was an associated 17% increased risk of obesity and 39% increased risk of insulin resistance.

Researchers from the University of Chicago published the results of their study into the associations between sleep loss and diabetes in the journal Diabetologia. The Chicago team found that after 3 nights of getting only 4 hours sleep, blood levels of fatty acids remain elevated, rather than peaking and receding overnight as they would normally, reducing the ability of insulin to regulate blood sugars.

People often miss out on sleep during the week, because of social and work commitments, then try to catch up at weekends. Let’s encourage each other to turn off technology and go to sleep!

To learn more ways to care for your body, mind and spirit visit SelfCare for HealthCare. Contact me today to give this life changing wellness program to your staff.

One response to “Work Life Balance: Can Lack of Sleep Make You Fat?”

  1. that is so true, sleep deprivation also leads to the dangerous occurrences of falling asleep behind steering wheels, while people are talking to you and when one is writing and it attacks you without warning. I go into a trance and I cannot wake up enough to function during the day. very dangerous

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