What Role Does Insufficient Sleep Play in the Accumulation of Fat Around the Belly?

Sleep deprivation can cause abdominal obesity. Multiple mechanisms cause this association:

Sleep deprivation can affect hunger and satiety hormones like ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin, the hunger hormone, rises with insufficient sleep, increasing appetite.

However, leptin, which indicates fullness, declines. This hormonal imbalance can cause overeating and calorie-dense food cravings, leading to weight gain and belly obesity.

Insulin Resistance: Like persistent stress, poor sleep reduces insulin sensitivity. Insulin resistance raises blood insulin levels, encouraging abdominal fat storage.

Sleep deprivation activates the brain's reward regions, making people more likely to eat high-calorie, sugary, and fatty foods. This can cause abdominal fat from a poor diet.

Stress Response: Lack of sleep raises cortisol levels. Cortisol is linked to abdominal fat accumulation, therefore chronically high levels can cause abdominal weight gain.

Fatigue and decreased physical activity might result from poor sleep. Tired people may not exercise, which can lead to weight increase and stomach fat.

In conclusion, poor sleep can alter hormonal balance, increase hunger, decrease insulin sensitivity, and cause bad eating habits that build belly fat. Health and weight management depend on quality sleep.

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