The impact of sleep on health is an important topic.
Let’s begin with a list of the sleepiest states from CDC/WebMD which I came across. It reports the percentage of adults who report not getting enough sleep:
- West Virginia – 19.3%
- Tennessee – 14.8%
- Kentucky – 14.4%
- Oklahoma – 14.3%
- Florida – 13.5%
Some of the facts that I took from the other article I was reading in Experience Life magazine (Dec 2010) were:
- People between the age of 32-59 who only slept four hours were 73% more likely to be obese than those sleeping 7-9 hours…and those that slept only 6 hours were 23 more likely to become obese than those sleeping 6 hours. (Columbia University)
- The average sleep of Americans has fallen from almost 9 hours in 1960 to just over 6.5 hours in 2009. (National Sleep Foundation)
- Nearly 1/3 of the population gets less than 6 hours of sleep per night.
Sleep impacts weight because leptin decreases and ghrelin increases when you don’t have enough sleep (2004 study in the Annals of Internal Medicine). These are both hormones that control hunger. Leptin tells the brain when the body has had enough food and ghrelin indicates that our energy reserves are running low.