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Sleep Deprivation and Muscle Loss

August 30, 2018

Sleep deprivation can boost fat cell production and reduce muscle mass.


Lack of sleep can be hard on the body. (Pixabay)

Lack of sleep can be hard on the body. (Pixabay)


Losing sleep can mean losing muscle. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Sleep deprivation wreaks havoc on your metabolism, reducing muscle mass and adding fat, according to Uppsala University neuroscientist Jonathan Cedernaes reporting in the journal Science Advances. He and his colleagues took tissue biopsies from male volunteers after they’d stayed up all night, and then again after normal sleep. And while adipose, or fat-storing tissue increased its ability to grow, muscle tissue began breaking down.

JONATHAN CEDERNAES (Uppsala University):

So it suggests that these tissues are responding in opposite tissue specific ways in response to sleep loss.


He says the changes increase susceptibility to type 2 diabetes, and could affect shift workers with altered day/night cycles. The work also shows that fat, muscle and overall body mass index is a highly complex matter, involving more than just food intake and exercise. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Story by Bob Hirshon