Gut Check: Making simple sense out of life
By Lenore Skomal Erie Times-News staff blogger
Lenore Skomal is an award-winning author and veteran journalist in all forms of media. She is a weekly columnist and daily blogger for the Erie Times-News. She’s authored 17 published books, including an anthology of her columns, Burnt Toast available on her website www.lenoreskomal.net.   Read more about this blog.
Posted: October 30th, 2012
Say goodbye to fat cells with a good night’s sleep

Scientists have known for years that sleep deprivation has all kinds of down sides. Well, here’s another one: It can also make you fat.

Say what? Apparently, the latest study from the University of Chicago indicates that not getting enough shut-eye can reduce your fat cells ability to respond properly to the hormone insulin. Over time, this can lead to weight gain and diabetes.

After testing a group of adults with varying sleep patterns and measuring their abdominal fat and their fat cells ability to insulin, the study found that those who had too little sleep (four hours a night) had a 30 percent drop in their ability to use insulin.

So how much sleep do researchers think we should get to ward off fat? The standard guideline for adults is 7 to 9 hours. I thought it was 4 to 5. Well, that explains a lot. No wonder these pesky fat cells are hanging around.

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