Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Insomnia May Alter Hunger Hormone

A number of studies in the recent years have highlighted the role of sleep in overall health but for the first time a study has come up with the reason for this. The latest findings reported in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology have shed light on the reason for sleep deprivation which might encourage weight gain and its related health consequences.
The study was completed with an experiment on 38 men with and without chronic insomnia and found that those with the sleep disorder had 30 percent lower nighttime levels of the hormone ghrelin, which is involved in appetite control. The 14 men with chronic insomnia and 24 healthy men spend two nights in the sleep lab. A catheter was used by the researchers on a periodiacal to take blood samples from the men when they slept, looking for fluctuations in the hormones leptin and ghrelin. Leptin is secreted by fat cells which help in regulating the body weight; low blood levels of leptin promote hunger while increasing the calorie burning.
 
Ghrelin is secreted by the stomach to boost appetite. The study showed that men with chronic insomnia had lower overnight levels of ghrelin compared with their healthy counterparts. The study exposed that hormone level among the insomniacs may play a big roll in long term weight gain and obesity. The study also showed the possibility of insomnia patients having lower than normal ghrelin levels at night, but elevated during the day which helps in boosting appetite. It added that people with chronic insomnia may have consistently lower levels of the hormone which points towards the general dysregulation in the way ghrelin is expressed in the body.



The lead researcher, Dr. Sarosh J. Motivala, of the University of California Los Angeles considered this achievement as a beginning in understanding the role of the hormones that were thought to be specifically related to energy, metabolism and appetite in arousing sleep disorders.
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