Two facts that are clear in modern society:
- We are getting heavier
- We are tired…very tired!
Getting enough sleep won’t just invigorate you, it could also help control how much you eat. A lack of sleep is linked to overeating, especially the overconsumption of junk food, which can lead to weight gain.
Two hormones that help regulate hunger—ghrelin and leptin—are affected by sleep. Ghrelin helps to stimulate hunger. It lets your body know when it’s time to eat. Leptin, on the other hand, acts as an appetite suppressor, promoting feelings of fullness and satiety. When your body is sleep-deprived, the level of ghrelin spikes, while the level of leptin falls, leading to an increase in hunger.
But wait, there’s more! A lack of sleep starts a process in the body that raises the blood level of a lipid known as endocannabinoid. This acts on the brain in a similar way to cannabis, making the act of eating more enjoyable, particularly in the evening, but you’re unlikely to be craving fruits and veg! Rather, it increases hunger for foods such as chocolate, fries, pasta and red meat. In fact, people who don’t get enough sleep typically eat twice as much fat and more than 300 extra calories the next day, compared with those who sleep for eight hours.
Preventing overeating—as well as obesity—starts with creating a healthy bedtime routine.
Struggling with sleep?
If you’re struggling with forming a healthy bedtime routine, check out our Top 10 tips for a better night’s sleep.
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