Sleep Deprivation in Teens leads to Weight Gain

By Chass Armstrong




We’ve all seen the stereotype of the lazy teenager sleeping all day to catch up on their rest and not contributing around the house. However, there probably needs to be a more positive connotation for excessive sleep with teens. Getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night for teens is not only critical for the development of their ever changing bodies, but it could also be critical for their health just a handful of years down the road.

A good way to think of sleep and your brain is to relate it to a battery and a wall charger. When you can’t charge your battery, your phone, laptop, or tablet simply won’t work. The same principle can be applied to your body. If you don’t get enough sleep your brain has a harder time regulating mental energy, physical stamina and strength, organ and hormonal functions and you don’t work optimally.

Two such hormones that are impacted by sleep deprivation are leptin and ghrelin. Ghrelin is a hormone that helps to regulate your appetite, and leptin helps to tell your brain when it’s full. When a human is sleep deprived, and especially teens, the leptin levels dip which means your body doesn’t feel as full after meals. Conversely, your ghrelin levels rise which means your appetite becomes stimulated. This combination of more appetite and less satisfaction from foods can lead to massive caloric intakes.

Over time these caloric binges can add not only pounds, but bad habits as well. Studies have shown that teens that develop unhealthy sleeping patterns will carry those into their college years and beyond. This can only further set a foundation or more weight gain.

This is relatable to sleep apnea as well. If you’re not getting enough sleep at night because of OSA, you will only be more hungry when you are awake, and the foods that you do eat will not satisfy you nearly enough. If you are experiencing daytime fatigue, you may want to consider giving us a call at 888.345.1780 we can help you with a free sleep questionnaire and help you get a home sleep test. We look forward to your call!

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