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Science News: “Upending daily rhythm triggers fat cell growth”

I had trouble losing body fat this year and last, in spite of seven double centuries and extensive training. It was so much harder than four years ago (2011) where I got down to 8% body fat without undue difficulty. I also gained weight this fall much faster than usual. It has been a battle, even burning 1000 calories a day.

But I haven’t slept all that well in a couple of years. I had pretty much concluded that my unsatisfying sleep was a factor, and so I went in for a sleep study (overnight and following day). The study showed that I kick my legs in my REM sleep (the body should be paralyzed in REM sleep), though it’s not RLS. So something is off, and I feel it in the morning. It’s no fun—well, it’s rough in fact, particularly for a guy like me, who works about 80 hours a week (not really by choice).

Science news reports:

Upending daily rhythm triggers fat cell growth

New research may help explain why chronic stress, sleep deprivation and other disruptions in the body’s daily rhythms are linked to obesity.

Chronic exposure to stress hormones stimulates growth of fat cells, Mary Teruel of Stanford University reported December 16 at the annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology. Normally, stress hormones, such as cortisol, are released during waking hours in regular bursts that follow daily, or circadian, rhythms. Those regular pulses don’t cause fat growth, Teruel and colleagues discovered. But extended periods of exposure to the hormones, caused by such things as too little sleep, break up that rhythm and lead to more fat cells.

Even though only about 10 percent of fat cells are replaced each year, the body maintains a pool of prefat cells that are poised to turn into fat. “If they all differentiated at once, you’d be drowning in fat,” Teruel said.

WIND: so there it is. I have little doubt that it’s affecting me, so the sleep thing needs attention, and not just for this reason.


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