Metro Bariatrics - Amir Moazzez MD, FACS

Is there a link to sleep and obesity?

Recent research is indicating that there is definitely a correlation between sleep and obesity.  Folks who sleep less hours at night tend to weigh more than those who sleep more.   A correlation means that there is a connection or relationship between these two subjects, but there is not necessarily a cause-and-effect connection.  Basically, you may weigh more if you sleep less but you can’t sleep away obesity!

It makes sense that the less you sleep the more you likely you are to pack on the pounds.  First, the more hours you are awake, the more opportunity there is to eat!  Second, when you are sleep-deprived, your body naturally wants foods that make you feel good, aka “comfort” foods.  Comfort foods are high in fat and refined carbohydrates that stimulate our body to release relaxing hormones, like serotonin.

Have trouble sleeping at night? Stick with the same sleep schedule every night, exercise daily, and don’t consume caffeine after 2pm.  Additionally try to avoid high fat foods, alcohol, and spicy foods before bedtime, which have all been found to disrupt our REM sleep cycles.