New Study Correlates the Impact of Lack of Sleep with Weight Gain

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Sleep plays a quintessential role in impacting our overall well being. Lack of a proper night’s sleep has the ability to not just affect your quality of life but also impact the overall metabolism of the body, thereby inducing weight gain.

A new study (R) conducted by the researchers from the Uppsala University insinuates that even a loss of one day of sleep has a profound tissue specific impact on the overall gene regulation of the gene regulation as well as the metabolism in the human beings. This could also pave way for a possible explanation to why shift works and chronic sleep loss often ends up negatively affecting one’s overall metabolism and other body activity.

Recent epidemiological studies have indicated that the salient rise in the risk of not just obesity but also of the type 2 diabetes in the people who vehemently suffer from chronic sleep loss.

Not just that, other studies have shown a very strong connection between the disrupted sleep with the possible association of weight gain and with consistent loss of muscle mass. The same is what adversely affects the overall facet of one’s overall well being.

The researchers from the Uppsala University primarily focused on the metabolic functions that are under the primary control of the skeletal muscle and the adipose tissues. They found that the ones who suffered from disrupted sleep schedules witnessed a hampered impact on the overall metabolic regulation. Even with these conclusions, it still can’t be firmly said whether or not the reason behind the weight gain is because of the changes at the molecular levels because of the lack of sleep.

The study was conducted on 15 healthy and normal weight individuals who had to participate in two different in-lab sessions in which they were fed with a very standardised meal plan and took part in the common activities throughout the day.

The two sessions were completely different from each other. While in the first one the subjects did sleep a normal 8-hour sleep, in the second part of the session, the subjects were kept awake throughout the entirety of the night.

Following each of the individual sessions, the researchers extracted some tissue samples from the subcutaneous layers of the fats and the skeletal muscles. These are the parts which record and showcase any form of changes and disruption in the metabolism of the body correlated to not just obesity but diabetes too.

Apart from that, the researchers also collected blood samples from the subjects the next morning apart from the tissue samples to take notes of the present metabolites in the blood. Some of the common types of metabolites that the researchers were looking for included sugar molecules, fatty acids and a few variants of amino acids.

The collected tissue samples showed abrupt changes and impacts on the overall tissue specific DNA methylation because of the lack of sleep. This epigenetic modification of the DNA was what could have been a possible impact in the abrupt slowing down of the metabolism and the consequent rise in the weight gain.

Jonathan Cedernaes, the author who led the study, stated that while it was actually their group who found the impact of acute sleep loss on the epigenetic changes in the clock genes, their new study is primarily focused on establishing the relation between the increased degree of DNA methylation with the lack of sleep in individuals.

Not just that, the researchers also found a possible connection between the gene and the protein expression associated with wakefulness to be different in both the skeletal as well as the adipose tissue. While the researchers are still not a 100% sure about the possible line of action regarding the same, they further stated saying that the possible explanation as to why the two tissues respond in an observed manner could be because of the fact of the tissue specific effect on the circadian rhythm which could have been causing an impact on the misalignment of these rhythms.

Cedernaes further exclaimed that they have witnessed quite a lot of inflammation across the tissues in the body resulting from the sleep loss. Apart from the same, they further witnessed signs and specific molecular signature insinuating the increased function of the adipose tissue trying to store excess fat following a night with lack of sleep. They also found a concomitant breakdown of all the necessary proteins in the skeletal muscles.

Another thing about this study and research is the fact the researchers based around the entire study on just one night of sleep which is why it can’t be judged for sure whether or not the same will actually end up showcasing similar kind of impacts on the overall situation of chronic lack of sleep. It can’t also be deduced how the same will end up affecting the overall situation of disruption of the circadian misalignment and its influence on weight gain.