Poor sleep affecting obesity and depression

Poor sleep affecting obesity and depression

People with medical conditions such as obesity and depression are more likely to suffer from poor sleep, according to The Sleep Council’s Great British Bedtime Report*.

Of all the 5,000 people surveyed, 29% said they slept poorly most nights. But that figure shoots up to 45% for people who are obese and 53% for people with depression.

The conditions also have an impact on how much sleep an individual gets. On average, 41% of people survive on less than six hours a night, but for depression that jumps to 56%, and obesity 51%.

Said Lisa Artis from The Sleep Council: “The figures show a worrying Catch 22 situation for people with depression or those who are obese, because while their conditions can impact on their sleep, sleep deprivation can also make their conditions worse or harder to cope with.

“We also know from a number of studies** that those who sleep poorly are more likely to gain weight or struggle to lose it, because poor sleep leads to raised levels of hunger hormone ghrelin and lower levels of leptin, a hormone that’s linked with feelings of fullness.

“And it’s a similar story with depression and anxiety – if you sleep poorly, it makes it coping much harder.

“Sleep regulates your mood and improves your memory, concentration and performance.”

The Bedtime Report also revealed back pain to be a major cause of poor sleep, with 46% of sufferers sleeping poorly most nights, and 54% getting less than six hours a night.

Said Lisa: “There are many causes of back pain, but it’s clearly something that has a major impact on how people sleep.

“A comfortable, supportive bed can help – however that doesn’t necessarily mean one described as ‘orthopaedic’ – which usually just means firm, because a bed that’s too hard could actually aggravate a bad back.

“It’s far more important that a mattress is comfortable for the individual and provides proper support for the body.”

For more information visit www.sleepcouncil.org.uk

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