Sleep deprivation has grown increasingly widespread in developed countries during the last several decades. Over the same period as the substantial rise in the prevalence of obesity and diabetes, a tendency toward shorter sleep duration has emerged.
Chronic partial sleep deprivation has been linked to an increased risk of obesity and diabetes, according to a growing body of research.
Obesity Risk Detected During Sleep
As per research, obesity has a direct link to the accumulation of fat in the body and when one does not get enough sleep he may have more fat deposition in the body that can lead to increased weight over a period.
Experimental sleep deprivation has been linked to a negative influence on glucose homeostasis in healthy volunteers in lab investigations. Insulin sensitivity declines quickly and significantly without appropriate compensation in beta cell activity, increasing the risk of diabetes.
Through the process of metabolism, we generate energy throughout the day by breaking down carbs, lipids, and proteins in our bodies. For example, carbs provide the majority of our energy right after eating, but fats provide the majority after fasting.
Metabolic flexibility refers to the body’s capacity to alter metabolic energy sources in response to changes in nutritional status, such as after meals and during sleeping. Obesity and diabetes have both been linked to a lack of flexibility, according to research.
Leptin and ghrelin’s capacity to correctly convey caloric requirements may be impaired by sleep deprivation, resulting in an internal misconception of low energy supply. Increased activity in neural groups producing the excitatory peptides orexins, which stimulate both waling and eating, is believed to be the cause of sleep deprivation’s negative influence on appetite control.
Professor Kumpei Tokuyama of the University of Tsukuba and his team of experts have been researching metabolism during sleep. Professor Tokuyama’s research yielded promising results and the professor says -, “We were interested in how metabolism varies throughout sleep and if we could discover any metabolic abnormalities in persons with inflexible metabolisms.”
The team’s fundamental technique is based on a test known as the respiratory quotient, or RQ, which assesses how much oxygen we consume and how much carbon dioxide we exhale. When the quantities are equal—an RQ of 1—it indicates that carbohydrates constitute the energy source. When the ratio is less than 0.8, it means that fats or proteins are being utilized as a source of energy. The researchers monitored the carbon dioxide/oxygen ratios of 127 individuals every five minutes over 24 hours to describe metabolic changes over time.
It was predicted that RQs would drop during the night since sleep is similar to a period of fasting. An entirely distinct pattern was discovered. Although the RQ levels fell gradually at the start of sleep, they began to rebound around midnight and remained increasing until participants woke up, explains Professor Tokuyama.
Next, the researchers divided the individuals into groups based on how much their RQs differed from one another. As a result of the high fluctuation in metabolism, RQs readings fluctuate throughout the day based on the body’s needs. Participants were split into metabolic flexible and inflexible groups, and even though the average RQs during a 24-hour period were the same, the researchers discovered that there was no difference in the RQs. People with less flexible metabolisms had greater RQs at night, indicating that they were burning more carbs than fat.
These discoveries might have a practical application. Tokuyama says that “Diabetes and obesity may be prevented rather than treated. By tracking sleeping RQ values on an annual basis, doctors could detect metabolic disorders in their early stages, allowing them to intervene sooner.”