Sleeping fewer than 8 hours linked to beer belly risk
People who do not get enough sleep every night are more likely to suffer a pot belly, a new study suggests.
An international team of scientists gathered health data from more than 5,000 adults - half male, half female, who participated in two rounds of the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 2011 and 2013.
The average age of participants was about 37, and the average amount of sleep they got was a little less than seven hours.
Getting enough sleep, ideally about eight hours per night, was associated with a lower concentration of dangerous visceral fat that forms around the organs.
The benefit appeared to plateau at eight hours.
Visceral fat is the most dangerous type, leaking fatty acids into the bloodstream.
It differs from the less dangerous subcutaneous fat that accumulates just below the skin’s surface and is responsible for wobbly fat and cellulite.
Getting too little sleep leads to abnormal regulation of activity in different parts of the brain that affect the reward center, sleep, and appetite, which may explain the link between sleep deprivation and visceral body fat storage.
Insufficient sleep leads to insulin resistance, which many scientists have suggested is linked to high visceral fat.
Dr Panagiotis Giannos said: “Our study adds to emerging evidence suggesting a prominent link between sleep deprivation and weight gain, which could be clinically significant.”