Can Sleep have an Influence on Belly Fat?

November 12, 2012

Can Sleep have an Influence on Belly Fat?

There has been some research carried out which suggests that the amount of belly fat we have may have an association with our quality and amount of sleep we get. It appears that if we have insomnia, fatigue or just sleep irregular hours then it can contribute to the amount of fat we have around our stomach.

Although the condition is seen in others it seems that people with higher levels of cortisol are at a greater risk. Researchers have seen that those with higher levels of cortisol also tend to have higher sugar levels and insulin release too. This permutation has been seen to lower the basal metabolic rate of the individual, which in turn leads to their body storing more energy as fat. This then starts a cycle of events which leaves the individual feeling tired which then encourages them to remain sedentary, which after time leads to a weight increase and a fatter stomach.

Sleep and its Association with Cortisol

Cortisol is a hormone closely related to stress and when we suffer from anxiety or tension it is released into the body. The effect of cortisol’s release means that sleep patterns can be affected, both the amount and the quality of the sleep. The cortisol further affects appetite and basal metabolic rate leading to interrupted sleep and eating issues which have been associated to belly fat.

A further factor being affected because of the cortisol release is that adrenalin rises because the body is feeling more stress. Part of its role is to release more sugars and fats so that the body has more access to energy producing supplies to satisfy the reflex reaction requiring more energy. This can cause an increase in appetite leading the person to consume more food. Adrenalin in the body also causes an increase in blood glucose levels, which in turn increases cortisol levels causing the spiral effect to take place.

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