Two hormones that are primarily responsible for regulating the body's energy balance, telling the body when it is hungry and when it is full. The study found that chronic insomnia disrupts one of these two hormones. "The current study shows that insomnia patients have a dysregulation in energy balance that could explain why these patients gain weight over time," said Motivala, who is also a member of the Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology at UCLA.
"This is an exciting finding because it highlights how diverse behaviors like sleep and eating are connected. We are just beginning to explore the possible consequences of these connections, but it is another example of the importance of a good night's sleep for the body."
To date, no study has evaluated nocturnal levels of the two hormones, ghrelin and leptin, in primary insomnia patients. Ghrelin, a peptide secreted by the stomach, stimulates appetite and increases before meals. Leptin, which affects body weight and is secreted primarily by fat cells, signals the hypothalamus regarding the degree of fat storage in the body; decreased leptin tells the body there is a calorie shortage and promotes hunger, while increased levels promote energy expenditure.
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