The sleep and obesity trap

It IS common knowledge that inactivity and a poor diet are major problems in developed countries, and this is often reflected in increased obesity rates. Another problem seems to have slipped under the radar: poor sleep and its possible connection to weight gain.

Sleep is the ‘sleeping weapon’ when it comes to what ails us in modern health. Too little sleep, or poor quality sleep, is known to be an independent risk factor for both type 2 diabetes and heart disease. What is not well known, however, is the link between poor sleep and obesity. 

The overweight have poor sleeping patterns, including obstructive sleep apnoea and snoring. But do poor sleeping patterns cause overweight – or vice versa? 

That’s the basis of much recent research, the results of which, to date, are far from clear. 

Here is some of the evidence.

Sleep and body weight 

Sleep is something