Study Suggests That Sleeping Longer May Result In A Lower Risk Of Becoming Obese

A new study published in the May issue of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s journal “Sleep” has determined that individuals who get more than 9 hours of sleep per night may be able to suppress genes that would otherwise contribute to them gaining weight.

Earlier studies have already demonstrated the influence of these obesity genes that impact glucose metabolism, fatty acid storage, satiety, and energy.

Researchers observed the sleep patterns of 1,088 pairs of twins, both identical and non-identical whose average age was 36. They were interested in examining the impact of the twin’s sleep habits on the environmental and genetic factors that influence weight gain. The body mass index (BMI) of each twin was used to decide whether or not that individual was obese.

From examining the sleep habits of the twins, the researchers were able to establish that 70 percent of BMI changes occurring in those persons who received less than 7 hours of sleep per night were affected by environmental factors such as diet and exercise as well as genetic influences. For those twins who slept for 9 hours or more per night, this number dropped to 32 percent. In other words, the impact of genetic factors was lessened in the twins who got more sleep.

There are a number of theories to explain why people who sleep longer may have a lower likelihood of becoming obese. The researchers suggest that it is possible that a shorter sleep time may provide an ideal environment for obesity genes to thrive. Likewise, individuals who get plenty of sleep may in fact be able to suppress the function of these obesity genes. In addition to this, personal choice regarding diet and exercise may have a greater impact on the weight of individuals who receive more sleep.

Source: CBS News

Detail from “Le Lit” by Toulouse-Lautrec

Eating Disorder Self Test. Take the EAT-26 self test to see if you might have eating disorder symptoms that might require professional evaluation. All answers are confidential.

Find a Treatment Facility Near You

Click on a state below to find eating disorder treatment options that could be right for you.

How our helpline works

For those seeking addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one, the EatingDisorders.com helpline is a private and convenient solution.

Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) for your visit will be answered by American Addiction Centers (AAC).

We are standing by 24/7 to discuss your treatment options. Our representatives work solely for AAC and will discuss whether an AAC facility may be an option for you. Our helpline is offered at no cost to you and with no obligation to enter into treatment. Neither EatingDisorders.com nor AAC receives any commission or other fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a visitor may ultimately choose.

For more information on AAC’s commitment to ethical marketing and treatment practices, or to learn more about how to select a treatment provider, visit our About AAC page. If you wish to explore additional treatment options or connect with a specific rehab center, you can browse top-rated listings or visit SAMHSA.