Sleep deprivation is associated with an increased risk of obesity, presumably by altering the hormones our body produces and releases during sleep hours. Some interesting findings in the study, such as an increased progression from pre- to full diabetes in people shifted to an alternate sleep schedule. Sleep deprivation due to shift work and altered sleep times has been associated with diseases such as breast cancer, heart disease obesity and diabetes. Shift workers often fail to compensate for their missed night-time sleep.
The study's author blames increased inactivity (not burning enough calories) for the weight gain, which has been the dominant paradigm in obesity thinking, but truly the culprit is probably hormone imbalance when many studies such as this one have documented the insulin resistance that accompanies sleep loss.
Sleep deprivation can come from other causes of course, either voluntary or involuntary. Night owls who can't sleep late in the morning might take these findings to heart and consider increasing sleep time. Insomniacs might benefit from sleep disorder advice and find a solution that successfully returns them to a normal sleep pattern.