Inadequate Sleep Can Cause Obesity: John Hopkins

Inadequate sleep by itself has many shortcomings, such as, poor concentration, drowsiness, irritation, restlessness, risk of infections like cough and cold and so on. Now you can add obesity to the list. Recent study conducted by John Hopkins Weight Management Center proved that ‘obesity’ is also one of the most serious ill effects of sleeping less. Obesity is already a major problem all over the world.

Most of the working professionals, who always take their sleeping hours for granted during hectic work schedules, should now at least start acting positively. Obesity, not only results in overweight, but also is a great source of many health problems like diabetics, high blood pressure, heart stokes and also few types of cancers.

Scientific reasons


This kind of weight variations in our body is due to the imbalance of two hormones namely Leptine and Ghrelin. The levels of these hormones change normally with our sleeping hours, but imbalance is created in the activity of these hormones, when the sleeping hours are crunched. Leptine, is produced by fat cells. It tells the brain when to stop eating. Whereas, the Gerlin Hormone produced in stomach triggers hunger. In case of people, sleeping for less hours, the levels of leptine decreases, which results in uncontrolled food intake and the levels of Gherlin increases which causes more hunger.

Research reports

  • According to the research conducted by Archives of Internal Medicine, on 924 participants between the age group of 18-19, people who slept for least hours weighted the most.

  • Another report is also released by National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which conducted a study on 18,000 adults. The study made a comparison between people who slept for 7-9 hours every night and the people who sleep only 4-5 hours, and the result showed that, 73% of the people who slept for fewer hours are more likely to suffer obesity. This shows that irregular and less times of sleep may cause obesity.

Finally, the important thing to note here is that, all the above reports are only in one way, i.e., they stated that sleep deprivation can lead to obesity, but none of the above reports mentioned, if increase in sleeping hours can cure obesity. All the proven track reports support the former statement, but not the later one.

Keeping aside the effects of increased sleeping hours, the bottom line of this study, according to the medical professionals of John Hopkins Institute is, along with inculcating proper food habits, avoiding junk foods, doing regular workouts; following proper sleeping habits will keep the obesity at bay.

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