After just ONE sleepless night our bodies start to stockpile fat new study finds
Have you just spent the better part of your Christmas break binge-watching some new shows on Netflix – and sleeping half the day to make up for it?
Or have you got a little one who is completely out of sorts after the Christmas break, and is keeping you up all night?
In that case, we've got some bad news for you.
A brand new Swedish study has found that even just one sleepless night causes some pretty dire things to happen to your body.
According to researchers at the University of Uppsala, sleep isn't just something the body does to save energy, it actually plays a vital part in how our bodies function.
To conduct their study, the Scandinavian researchers enlisted 15 healthy, young men, and compared how their bodies were after a night of normal sleep (eight hours) and after a night of no sleep at all. Both nights were spent in a sleep laboratory, and on the following mornings, the researcher took tissue samples from all the men, both from muscle tissue and bone tissue. They also took blood samples to look at different factors involved in the body's metabolism.
And what they found might surprise you.
Even just one sleepless night had some dramatic consequences for your body: Muscle tissue start breaking down, your body start stockpiling fat and the stress hormone cortisol spiked.
However, the reason behind why this is the case has not been clear until now.
"This study helps us understand the mechanisms behind how these are connected, and how important your daily sleep and wake rhythm is, for instance when it comes to shift work," explains Dr Morten Engstrøm. Engstrøm works as a sleep researcher at the Institute for Neuro-Medicine at NTNU, as well senior consultant at St. Olav Hospital in Trondheim, Norway.
When the Swedish researchers revealed their findings about the changes a sleepless night will have on your body, the doctor is not surprised in the slightest but reckons we need to view the results in relation to other factors that matter to our bodies.
"Keep in mind, however, that we also need to remember the importance stress, diet and physical activity will play on your sleep and the overall health of your body".