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Advances in health and medicine.
Marjorie Bekaert Thomas
Advances in health and medicine.
General Health Channel
Reported October 16, 2012

Even your Fat Cells Need Sleep!

(Ivanhoe Newswire) – Your body needs sleep. For a while it has been believed that getting enough sleep is essential primarily for brain function, but it turns out sleep is just as crucial for other functions. A recent study has found that not getting enough sleep actually has a harmful effect on the body’s fat cells.

Researchers from the University of Chicago Medicine performed the study using seven young, lean, and healthy adults who each went through two study conditions: one where they slept for 8.5 hours a night for four nights in a row, and another where they only slept for 4 hours a night for four nights.

The morning after the last night of both study conditions, the participants were given an intravenous glucose tolerance test, which measures total-body insulin sensitivity. This was done by the researchers removing abdominal fat cells from the area near each participants' navel, and then measuring how these fat cells responded to insulin.

Out of the participants, six were males and one was female and all of them had their food intake strictly controlled during the study.

The results showed that after a having four nights of shortened sleep the participants’ total-body insulin response decreased by an average of 16 percent and the insulin sensitivity of fat cells decreased by 30 percent.

This can be a problem because….

"Body fat, also known as adipose tissue, stores and releases energy. In storage mode, fat cells remove fatty acids and lipids from the circulation where they can damage other tissues. When fat cells cannot respond effectively to insulin, these lipids leach out into the circulation leading to serious complications," study author Matthew Brady, Ph.D., was quoted as saying.

With this new knowledge, people will further understand how important sleep is for their overall health and begin to recognize getting enough sleep as another way to avoid the risks of some diseases.

So start aiming for a solid 8 hours a night!

(Source: Annals of Internal Medicine, October, 2012)

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