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By Shamard Charles, M.D.
A new study reveals that restful sleep on weekends puts people at risk of gaining weight.
The study, published Thursday in the journal Current Biology, showed that people who did not sleep enough during the week but who had overtime on weekends tended to snack more and were at increased risk of diabetes.
"Our findings suggest that the usual behavior of burning the candle during the week and attempting to compensate for it over the weekend is not an effective health strategy," said the paper's lead author, Kenneth. Wright, director of the Sleep and Chronobiology Lab at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
The researchers examined the sleep patterns of 36 healthy adults aged 18 to 39 for 10 days in a laboratory. They were divided into three groups: those who slept nine hours a night for nine consecutive days, those whose sleep was limited to five hours a night for nine nights, and those who slept a maximum of five hours a night for five days followed by a weekend where they could sleep as much as they wished, before going back to sleep for two days.
The two sleep deprived groups nibbled more at night, which resulted in weight gain and decreased insulin sensitivity, a harbinger of diabetes. The weekend recovery group experienced a slight improvement over the weekend, but these benefits were canceled when they resumed their restricted sleep schedule during the week.
The phenomenon that Wright is talking about is called social jetlag. This occurs when the sleep-wake cycle, also called circadian rhythm, is disrupted and is associated with long-term adverse health effects, including obesity.
"We have these hormones called leptin and ghrelin," said Azizi Seixas, sleep expert and assistant professor at the University of New York's School of Medicine, who did not participate in the event. 39; study. "One is associated with satiety, and the other increases your appetite, both of which break up when you are sleep deprived."
He added, "Sleep deprivation causes people to have poor control of their impulses and they are more likely to consume foods containing empty calories like baking soda and starch-rich foods."
The group whose sleep was restricted all the time also experienced a 13% decrease in insulin sensitivity. The weekend recovery group experienced more variable decreases in insulin sensitivity, ranging from 9 to 27%.
"I think people feel that they can be machines during the week and then become human on the weekends. Sleep is not a math game, you can not balance it. Your body needs a timetable for a reason. This demonstrates the importance of having a regular sleep schedule, "said Seixas.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that adults sleep at least seven hours a night.
Recent studies have also highlighted the importance of sleep quality, as lack of sleep can lead to loss of focus and attention, weakened immune system and slower cognitive speed.
"Sleep is not trivial," Seixas said. "This is the moment when the body does most of its repair work. This work must be done during the week and the weekend. "