For years now we’ve been told that too little sleep leads to weight gain. In fact, a study presented at last year’s Endocrine Society national meeting suggested that getting just 30 fewer minutes sleep per weekday can increase your risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

But what if the opposite were true? Would it surprise you to learn that sleeping can make you fatter as well?

If you suffer from sleep disturbances like sleep apnea, where sufferers actually stop breathing for up to 30-45 seconds at a time, often several times a night, you could be setting yourself up to gain weight. How so? Not to be confused with central sleep apnea secondary to brain dysfunction, this brand of sleep apnea correlates to the fatty enlargement of tissues in the nasal air passages and at the back and upper part of the throat.  Studies have found that there is a low-grade inflammation in the fat tissues and the fat cells of obese folks, and that this inflammatory state can become chronic,  leading to systemic insulin resistance and diabetes. Adenine nucleotide translocase 2 (ANT2a), a protein in fat cell membranes that is involved in cellular energy metabolism, can become activated in these obese people, increasing oxygen consumption, meaning less oxygen is available for the rest of the cell.  This, in turn, leads to hypoxia, or low oxygen levels in the fat cell, creating an environment for even further weight gain.

 

Read the rest of article on Huffington Post here.

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