ISSN 1470-3947 (print) | ISSN 1479-6848 (online)

Endocrine Abstracts (2017) 49 S28.1 | DOI: 10.1530/endoabs.49.S28.1

Candidate mechanisms underlying the association between poor sleep and obesity

Christian Benedict


An increasing proportion of people living in our 24/7 culture complain about insomnia symptoms, i.e., they experience problems to fall and/or stay asleep. As demonstrated by epidemiological studies, chronic sleep loss is correlated with weight gain. To investigate whether sleep loss would alter energy metabolism in favour of weight gain, my lab therefore performed a series of sleep loss experiments in metabolically healthy normal-weight subjects. These studies demonstrated that acute sleep loss alters circulating levels of appetite-modulatory metabolites (e.g. higher levels of the hunger-promoting hormone ghrelin), impairs the ability to control food impulses, and increases metabolic efficiency. In the setting of chronically insufficient sleep, such behavioral and metabolic effects may predispose normal-weight individuals to gain weight.

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