I’ve written a fair amount about the lessons I use in class to help students understand the importance of getting enough sleep (see The Best Resources For Helping Teens Learn About The Importance Of Sleep).

The lessons, and the resources I use, always make a point of saying that not getting enough sleep can lead to obesity, but none of them explained how that was the case.

This new article, “Catch Some Zzz’s to Lose Some Pounds,” does however. Here’s an excerpt:

Under conditions of sleep restriction (either shortened sleep or complete deprivation), subjects experienced reduced levels of leptin (the hormone that decreased appetite), increased levels of ghrelin (the hormone that simulates appetite), and increased hunger and appetite, particularly for calorie-dense, carbohydrate-rich foods. One study also concluded that sleep-restricted individuals consumed more calories from snacks than meals.