Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Why No Snooze Is Bad Snooze. ; CAROLINE JONES Reports on How Too Little Sleep Is Bad for Your Health

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Why No Snooze Is Bad Snooze. ; CAROLINE JONES Reports on How Too Little Sleep Is Bad for Your Health

Article excerpt

MARGARET THATCHER and Winston Churchill may have little in common but they shared one bad trait - sleeping just a few hours a night.

Thatcher boasted that she needed just four hours' shuteye and Churchill could get by on just five.

But little did they know how bad this might have been for them - and their waistlines.

A study has discovered having a bad night's sleep can make us eat more the following day - in the same way smoking cannabis gives people "the munchies".

Endocrinologist Erin Hanlon, who led the University of Chicago study, says lack of shut-eye causes the brain to release its own cannabis-like chemicals.

When volunteers were deprived of sleep, their levels of this drug- like brain chemical - called 2-AG - stayed higher for longer and as a result they snacked on unhealthier foods throughout the day.

But weight gain isn't the only health problem scientists have linked to not getting enough sleep.

A whole range of issues can be triggered by missing out on your seven to eight hours per nightfi A BIGGER WAISTLINE EVEN before this new study highlighting the "munchies" effect, previous research has shown sleep deprivation increases the body's production of "appetite hormones" ghrelin and leptin, which in turn encourages you to overeat.

Indeed, so strong is the sleepweight connection, one 2004 study found that people who slept fewer than six hours a night were almost 30% more likely to become obese than those who slept seven to nine hours.

A WORSE SEX LIFE A QUARTER of adults said their sex lives suffered because they are too exhausted to perform, according to a poll by the National Sleep Foundation.

There's also evidence that poor sleep can lower levels of the sex drive hormone testosterone in men.

MORE DEPRESSION YOU'RE five times more likely to suffer from low mood if you have insomnia, according to research.

Sleep deprivation has been shown to lower the level of the feel- good brain chemical serotonin.

But the good news is that studies also show just one early night can help pay off some of that sleep debt and trigger a lift in mood. …

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