Teenagers need to
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By Indo Asian News Service, IANS : Washington, Sleeping less than eight
hours a night may cause weight gain in teenagers.
'Sleep is food for the brain. When teens do not get enough sleep, they fall
asleep in class, struggle to concentrate, look and feel stressed, get sick
more often, and do not meet their obligations due to tiredness,' said study
author Lata Casturi of the Baylor College of Medicine.
'Teens who sleep less than eight hours may also consume more calories than
those who sleep more than eight hours. Therefore, they have a higher risk
for obesity and associated health problems, including high blood pressure,
heart disease, and stroke,' a college statement quoted Casturi as saying.
Casturi and colleagues, including co-author Anita Rao, presently a 10th
grader at Dawson High School in Pearland, Texas, surveyed 255 teens (108
boys and 147 girls) in high school to obtain self-reported measures of
height and weight and both weekday and weekend quantity of sleep.
How does lack of sleep really affect weight gain? According to researchers,
the hormones leptin and ghrelin work in a 'checks and balances' system to
control feelings of hunger and fullness.
Ghrelin, which is produced in the gastrointentinal tract, stimulates
appetite, while leptin, produced in fat cells, sends a signal to the brain
when a person is full.
'When you don't get enough sleep, it drives leptin levels down, which means
you don't feel as satisfied after you eat. Lack of sleep also causes ghrelin
levels to rise, which means your appetite is stimulated, so you want more
food,' said co-author Radha Rao, DeBakey VA Medical Centre, Houston, Texas.
'The two factors combined can set the stage for overeating, which, in turn,
may lead to weight gain.'
These findings were presented at CHEST 2011, the 77th annual meeting of the
American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP)