Struggling with a lack of sleep can be a real pain, it affects your mood, your ability to concentrate and maintain a good social life.
But what’s even worse is scientists have now discovered a link between insomnia and weight gain, Science Daily reports.
That’s right, those hours upon hours laying awake in bed waiting for that next wave of tiredness could be to blame for you stacking on the kilos.
The study conducted by Uppsala University has identified that just one night of sleep loss impacts a persons metabolism and even their genes.
To figure this out researchers at the university conducted tests on 15 people. Each of these healthy, normal weight individuals was made to sleep for an average length one night (over eight hours) and was kept awake the next.
The following day the researchers made their discovery. By taking small tissue samples and blood tests they were able to see how sleep loss actually changed the DNA that regulates specific genes that impact weight.
Changes were also recognised in skeletal muscle levels of proteins that deal with the handling of blood glucose – another factor determining weight gain.
“These observations may provide at least partial mechanistic insight as to why chronic sleep loss and shift work can increase the risk of adverse weight gain as well as the risk of type 2 diabetes,” leading researcher Jonathan Cedernaes explained.
While the study was only tested on one night of unrest, researchers are eager to confirm the theory in further investigations to see whether one or more nights of recovery sleep can repair the changes.
“Diet and exercise are factors that can also alter DNA methylation, and these factors can thus possibly be used to counteract adverse metabolic effects of sleep loss,” Cedernaes added.
For those who are hoping to end the nights of trying to count sheep to get to sleep and hopefully not stack on the weight, other researchers have found ways to help manage insomnia.
It is pretty common knowledge that scrolling through social media and googling information on phones and other technological devices before bed can affect your sleep.
But there is good news, if you can’t pry yourself away from your smartphone, researchers last year discovered wearing a pair of glasses with amber lenses while using a device before bed will help you to get a good nights rest.
While it may seem a little silly to wear darker glasses inside when watching TV, scrolling through Facebook or reading an e-book, the orange tint actually blocks the harmful blue lights that keep you awake.