In recent years, insufficient sleep or Sleep Deprivation has become the most common unhealthy behavior among many people worldwide. Even though it may seem to be a minor issue that can be solved with a cup of hot coffee, the latest finding from the University of Leeds in England revealed that Lack Of Sleep could affect one’s metabolic health and may cause obesity.

Did you know that not having a good night's sleep every night has become an alarming issue? In fact, almost 70 million Americans are suffering chronic sleep and wakefulness disorders.

Lack of sleep is also linked to several chronic diseases, including hypertension, diabetes, cancer, and depression.

Moreover, sleep-deprived individuals are also at higher risk for car accidents and occupational blunders due to slowed alertness and dull motor skills.

Link between sleep and obesity

Having an inadequate amount of sleep, however, is not only affecting the Americans. In fact, a new research, which was published in the journal PLOS ONE, found that most sleep-deprived adults in the United Kingdom have a higher chance of becoming obese and overweight.

The Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine and the School of Food Science and Nutrition researchers also found that those who aren’t getting enough sleep could have poorer metabolic health and could develop metabolic diseases.

The experts even noted that those who only sleep for an average of six hours saw a three-centimeter increase in their waistline, as compared to those who get a 7- or 9-hour sleep nightly.

Weight gain is also visible to those individuals who get shorter sleeping time. Aside from diet and weight, lead study author Dr. Laura Hardie from the University of Leeds’ Molecular Epidemiology also revealed that the study delves into the association between lack of sleep and other metabolic health indicators such as thyroid function, blood pressure, blood sugar and blood cholesterol.

Researcher Greg Potter also underscored how obesity contributes to the development of several diseases, particularly type 2 diabetes. He stressed the importance of understanding the detrimental effects of weight gain in public health.

Factors affecting sleeping habits

Health experts have long warned about the possibility of a global sleep crisis.

That is why it is important to have and maintain a healthy sleeping habit or getting the best-recommended sleep duration of at least seven to nine hours every night for adults. However, there are several factors that could affect our sleeping patterns.

Based on a previous research, gender was considered a key indicator that affects sleeping habits, with women getting more sleep than men. Age is also a significant factor, with children having an early bedtime and wake time schedules while teenagers tend to sleep and wake up later.

Adulthood and old age, on the other hand, experience pattern reversals, wherein bedtimes and wake times come earlier than usual. The society, culture pressures, social circumstances and daily responsibilities also dictate our sleeping habits.

According to researcher Daniel Forger, the society is pushing people to stay up late. In fact, sleep is often sacrificed due to the conflict between a person’s desire to sleep late and the time the body tells you to wake up in the morning.

Advantages of having adequate sleep

In order to stay healthy, you should get an adequate amount of sleep daily. The reasons? Well, sleeping seven to nine hours every night can keep flu, colds, pneumonia and other infections at bay. Adequate sleep can also boost the proper functioning of the immune system and diminish the direct implications of stress on cardiovascular and endocrine functions.

Having a good night's sleep can also lower the risks of obesity and diabetes. As a matter of fact, getting enough sleep can help the body metabolize sugar more efficiently and can also boost a person’s drive to exercise.