Poor Sleep and the Next Day Munchies

MAN LOOKING IN REFRIGERATOR AT NIGHT   Original Filename: fridge.jpg

Poor sleep is bad for your body in all kinds of ways, from cognitive problems to long-term damage to the cardiovascular and metabolic systems. Now new research from Erin Hanlon, Ph.D., research associate at the University of Chicago Medicine Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, shows that sleep deprivation is even sneakier, causing you to overeat and do the damage yourself.

In preliminary results presented at the annual meeting of The Endocrine Society, Hanlon showed that subjects who slept just four-and-a-half hours a night had higher levels of a molecule called 2-arachidonoylglycerol that regulates appetite. The Huffington Post reports:

“Past experimental studies show that sleep restriction increases hunger and appetite,” study researcher Erin Hanlon, Ph.D., who is a research associate at the University of Chicago’s Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, said in a statement. “The mechanism for overeating after inadequate sleep may be an elevation in this endocannabinoid molecule, called 2-arachidonoylglycerol, or 2-AG.”

Hanlon’s study adds to the growing body of research from UChicago on the effects of poor sleep. Read more from Science Life on how it affects our metabolism and increases insulin resistance, causes genetic changes in children and even makes us lonely.

About Matt Wood (433 Articles)
Matt Wood is a senior science writer for the University of Chicago Medicine and editor of the Science Life blog.

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