Sleep Hormone Is Key to Fighting Fat

December 24, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. hormone /ˈhɔr moʊn/ (n.) – a chemical in the body that helps organs to function normally
Example: Growth hormones help body cells reproduce.

2. rhythm /rɪð əm/ (n.) – flow or movement
Example: A healthy heart beats with a steady rhythm.

3. undisrupted /ən dɪsˈrʌp tɪd/ (adj.) – without being disturbed
Example: A child’s development should be undisrupted.

4. critical /krɪt ɪ kəl/ (adj.) – very important
Example: Having normal sugar levels is critical for people with diabetes.
5. wreak havoc /rik hæv ək/ (idiom) – to cause problem or destruction
Example: Smoking can wreak havoc to one’s health.


Read the text below.
A hormone that helps people sleep at night plays a big role in keeping weight gain at bay. Scientists from University of Granada in Spain found this information through an experiment on weight loss. In the study, rats injected with the hormone lost some weight and had body conditions favorable in fighting diabetes.

The said hormone, called melatonin, is mostly produced during regular sleeping hours. At night time, levels of melatonin increase while it decreases during day time. This is because sunlight blocks the production of melatonin. 

When the sleep-wake pattern remains undisrupted, the body can normally produce melatonin. Besides aiding sleep, melatonin also regulates body metabolism as it keeps the rhythm of the body steady.

In a different study, British researchers say regular sleep patterns can help fight diabetes, which is often caused by being overweight. According to Dr. Kyle of Manchester University, the effect of sleeping patterns to the body is of critical importance now that more and more people are getting shorter sleep and getting used to artificial conditions. 

One of the artificial conditions people are exposed to is the artificial light at night. More specifically, exposure to blue light at night may wreak havoc to one's health in the long run. This light emitted by computers, mobile phones, and tablets contribute to the abnormal production of melatonin, leading to disruption of sleep patterns and body metabolism. Scientists suggest that turning off gadgets a few hours before getting to bed may do people good. 

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Would you consider your current sleeping habits healthy? Why or why not?
·         What actions to do you intend to take after reading the article?

Discussion B

·         Do you agree that today’s modern lifestyle is making people unhealthy? Please explain your answer.
·         In general, what lifestyle changes should be done for people to have better health?

December 24, 2014