Sleep loss ups hunger-promoting hormones in adults

25 Mar 2023
Sleep loss ups hunger-promoting hormones in adults

A recent study has shown that acute sleep deprivation leads to a decrease in blood concentrations of satiety-hormone leptin and to an increase in ghrelin and adiponectin, which induce hunger.

“With increased blood concentrations of ghrelin and adiponectin, such endocrine changes may facilitate weight gain if persisting over extended periods of sleep loss,” the investigators said.

Forty-four participants (mean age 24.9 years, 20 women, 19 with obesity) were enrolled in this crossover study, which included one night of sleep deprivation and one night of sleep in the laboratory. A team of investigators collected fasting blood samples after each night.

Fasting levels of leptin were lower after sleep deprivation (mean vs sleep: 17.3 vs 18.6 ng/mL). On the other hand, fasting levels of ghrelin (839.4 vs 741.4 pg/mL) and adiponectin (7.5 vs 6.8 μg/mL) were higher (p<0.05 for all) following sleep loss.

The changes in leptin and adiponectin after sleep deprivation were more noticeable among women. In addition, the increase in hunger-promoting ghrelin was greater among sleep-deprived participants with obesity. Likewise, the sleep loss-induced surge in adiponectin was more pronounced among participants with normal weight.

“In murine studies, this adipokine has been shown to increase food intake and promote lipid accumulation in adipocytes,” the investigators said.

“The observed sex- and weight-specific differences in leptin, ghrelin, and adiponectin call for further investigation,” they added.

Editor's Recommendations