It can really seem unfair when you pack on the pounds whenever you indulge in your favorite foods. Meanwhile, a select few can still maintain a trim figure even after pigging out on cheeseburgers and chocolate cake.
Some people are just born lucky and have favorable genes. They have a naturally faster metabolism and can get away with eating more without suffering the consequences afterwards. Chances are that you are not one of these people. However, a new research suggests that the extent to which your genes affect your weight is actually dependent on the amount of sleep you get.
In a recent study, 1,088 pairs of twins, both identical and non-identical, had their sleeping habits analyzed. One twin was given nine hours of sleep, while the other got seven hours or less. The twin with the more sleep showed a body mass index that was 51 percent dependent on environmental factors, such as diet and exercise, with 32 percent being due to genetic makeup. For the twin that slept less, about 70 percent of their BMI can be attributed to their genes, while only about four percent was due to environmental influences.
The study was headed by Nathaniel Watson, M.D., the co-director of the University of Washington Medicine Sleep Center. The use of twins for the study provided far better results. Since twins share identical DNA, any difference in their weight can be attributed to environmental factors rather than their genes.
Researchers have so far identified about 20 genes that are linked to the risk of obesity. This includes genes that regulate your blood sugar metabolism and appetite. It is believed that the amount of sleep can influence how these genes behave.
More sleep is generally a good thing. The research also now shows that if you want to keep a tight and solid tummy, then you should spend more time in dreamland.