Can staying up late make you fat? A growing body of research has suggested that poor sleep quality is linked to an increased risk of obesity by deregulating appetite, which in turn leads to more calorie consumption.
But a new study published this week in PLOS Biology found that the direction of this reaction might actually be flipped: It’s not the sleep loss that leads to obesity, but rather that excess weight can cause poor sleep, according to researchers from the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine and the University of Nevada, Reno, who discovered their findings in the microscopic worm Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans).
“We think that sleep is a function of the body trying to conserve energy in a setting where energetic levels are going down. Our findings suggest that if you were to fast for a day, we would predict you might get sleepy because your energetic stores would be depleted,” said study co-author David Raizen, MD, PhD, an associate professor of Neurology and member of the Chronobiology and Sleep Institute at Penn.
Excerpted from Science Daily