Getting a bad night’s sleep doesn’t just make you cranky – it can also affect your weight.

A new video from BrainCraft, a PBS series exploring psychology and neuroscience created by Vanessa Hill, explains how upsetting the balanced community of microbes living in a person’s gut through bad sleep can cause weight gain.

A person’s microbiome, the diverse community of microbes living inside the gut, is able affect their mood, stress levels and sleep when disrupted.

Focusing on the adverse effects of bad sleep, Ms Hill explains that experiencing a poor night’s sleep will cause the body to continue its production of the stress hormone cortisol, which will negatively affect the microbiome.

As a person’s microbiome is “intertwined” with their sleep wake cycle, poor sleep is connected to changes in a person’s metabolism, which can lead to weight gain.

 

“Disrupting our body’s internal clock can lead to cravings for unhealthy food and then eating unhealthy food messes with your appetite,” Ms Hill said.

Citing a study in which mice became obese after being fed a high fat diet, Ms Hill explained their diet caused the microbes in their gut to change.

The changes to the metabolisms of the mice made them crave more high fat food and saw the rodents begin to eat at the wrong times in the day, eat multiple lunches and have midnight snacks, making them obese. The mice on a low-fat and high-fibre diet stayed lean.

“Some researchers even think the bacteria in your gut are responsible for the calories you burn in your sleep,” Ms Hill adds. 

Comments

Share your thoughts and debate the big issues

Learn more
Please be respectful when making a comment and adhere to our Community Guidelines.
  • You may not agree with our views, or other users’, but please respond to them respectfully
  • Swearing, personal abuse, racism, sexism, homophobia and other discriminatory or inciteful language is not acceptable
  • Do not impersonate other users or reveal private information about third parties
  • We reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts and ban offending users without notification

You can find our Community Guidelines in full here.

Create a commenting name to join the debate

Please try again, the name must be unique Only letters and numbers accepted
Loading comments...
Loading comments...
Please be respectful when making a comment and adhere to our Community Guidelines.
  • You may not agree with our views, or other users’, but please respond to them respectfully
  • Swearing, personal abuse, racism, sexism, homophobia and other discriminatory or inciteful language is not acceptable
  • Do not impersonate other users or reveal private information about third parties
  • We reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts and ban offending users without notification

You can find our Community Guidelines in full here.

Loading comments...
Loading comments...