A Stuff.co.nz news report discusses a study that revealed individuals who were obese and depressed showed higher sleep disturbances.

Slumping over your desk well before it’s appropriate to knock off? Before you blame those early starts, central heating or the “3pm effect” for the uncontrollable yawning, there might be another reason at work.

And it’s not what you might expect. Latest research from Penn State College of Medicine has found obesity and depression are the leading causes of chronic drowsiness.

The study, as published in the SLEEP Journal, analysed 1300 people over 7.5 years and found those who were obese and depressed showed higher sleep disturbances and excessive levels of daytime sleepiness (EDS). However, when they lost weight, drowsiness decreased.

With more than 65 per cent of Kiwis currently overweight or obese this research could be considered ground breaking in the treatment of drowsiness or 3pm-itis. Instead of reaching for sleeping tablets or a chocolate bar, it may be as simple as upping your dose of healthy food and exercise.

So, does this mean we’ve finally uncovered the silent killer fuelling our nap needs? Well, according to the experts, the connection has been known for a while but we’re failing to realise how much our weight impacts sleep and mood.

Get the full story at www.stuff.co.nz