FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Thursday, April 28, 2005

To Drop Some Pounds, Catch Some Z's

Evidence is mounting that a good night's sleep is crucial to maintaining a healthy weight. When researchers at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute genetically disrupted the sleeping patterns of mice, they found that those mice gained weight, and developed high cholesterol and fatty livers.

The researchers believe that healthy sleep cycles help regulate metabolism and appetite. When the mice in the Hughes study were given a mutant "clock" gene to disrupt their sleep cycles, they essentially became insomniacs. In addition to sleeping less, they ate irregularly, and were more sluggish than their more well-rested counterparts.

We live in a culture that tends to disparage sleep, equating it with laziness and weakness. Our 24/7 culture doesn't help; we all get hooked on TV and Web surfing until the wee hours of the morning, after all. "You snooze, you lose," the saying goes. Now, though, we know that one thing we may well lose is weight.

Source: FuturePundit