Sleeping badly doesn’t just make us irritable - interrupting sleep cycles can directly affect the body’s metabolic processes and lead to long-term health risks including weight gain and muscle loss.
We've known for a while that chronic sleep loss, late nights and shift work are associated with an increased risk of numerous health issues. However, a new study provides evidence on HOW chronic sleep loss and shift work may also increase the risk of obesity and type-2 diabetes, while at the same time decreasing your muscle mass.
Even minor weekly shifts in sleep timing, or as few as five consecutive nights of short sleep (acute sleep loss), have been associated with an increased risk of weight gain in healthy humans. This is because the body responds to shift working and missed rest by putting on energy stores and breaking down muscle tissue. Sleep loss by itself reduces proteins that are the key components of muscle, contrasting with increased levels of proteins linked to obesity, although it is possible that diet and exercise could counteract these changes.
There was also seen an increase in inflammation in the body after sleep deprivation, which is a known risk factor for type 2 diabetes.
As an example, permanent night shift workers have been found to be 29% more likely to develop obesity or become overweight than rotating shift workers and with Britain’s late-night workforce reaching almost 3.2 million – equivalent to one in eight workers - that's an alarming statistic.
So let's get a better sleep - read more here.