How Does Sleep Affect What You Eat?
BY JANE COLLINS
Sufficient sleep is vital for every human being. Snoozing for anywhere between 7 and 9 hours helps you stay sharp and ensures that the body gets enough time to repair after the day’s activities.
But, what most people do not seem to understand is that how you sleep also affects what you eat. And so sleep is one of the most important things that you need to take into account when trying to maintain a healthy diet or shed some weight.
Sleeping Less makes You Eat More
If you do not get enough rest, the chances are that you will tend to eat more and hence gain some extra weight. First, the time that you are not in bed, the chances are that you will want something to comfort or keep you busy and for most people, this means eating.
Whether you are working on your computer or watching a movie, you will find yourself snacking on something. But, when in bed for the seven or eight hours you will not have the time or get the urge to eat.
According to sleep experts lack of enough sleep reduces the production of leptin which is a hormone that signals or leads to a feeling of fullness.
Also, it causes the overproduction of ghrelin which is a hormone that promotes a sense of hunger and hence making you eat more. And so sleep deprivation will always leave you feeling hungry.
Long Daytime Napping Can Make You Snack on Unhealthy Foods
Long naps during the day always seem like a good idea because they help you reduce some of your sleep debt. However, contrary to the popular opinions they are not very good and are one of the bad sleep habits that you should avoid.
Any daytime nap lasting for more than half an hour will leave you feeling tired, disoriented and groggy. If you are working or just want to get rid of these feelings the chances are that you will eat or drink something to boost your energy levels.
People that tend to nap a lot during the day will always find themselves craving fatty and sugary foods and drinks because they help to deal with the tired feeling and disorientation.
And this is what results in weight gain and other problems associated with unhealthy eating habits.
Sleep Deprivation Lead to Bad Food Choices
Most people want to and plan to eat healthy meals, but very few achieve this. One of the fundamental reasons for this is not getting enough sleep.
When you do not snooze enough, the chances are that you will be feeling tired throughout the day. And so when you get home in the evening after work you will not have the time or energy to cook that healthy meal that you planned.
The tiredness will also make you crave for unhealthy and high-fat foods. And the worst thing is that your brain will be too tired even to register the consequences of eating unhealthy foods and this can become a habit.
Even one night of insufficient amount of sleep can make you crave sugary and fatty foods.
Disruptive Sleep Cycle Can Change Eating Patterns
If you disrupt the body’s internal clock that is in charge of regulating sleep you will also interfere with your eating habits. Interfering with the inner clock by failing to keep a regular sleep schedule will affect everything from when you feel hungry during the day to the level of hunger.
Late sleepers tend to feel hungry very late in the day, but they also end up consuming more calories than those that sleep early and keep a routine. Also, sleeping late makes it hard for you to sleep the next day and hence leading to a vicious cycle of inadequate sleep and eating habits.
Excessive Sleep Also Has Negative Effects
Taking some good herbs for sleep and relaxation, doing some yoga or taking a hot bath are some of the best ways to ensure that you fall asleep fast. However, even as you try to solve your sleep issues, it is important to make sure that you do not get too much of it. The key to good sleep is striking a balance by ensuring that you do not sleep a lot or less.
If you are in bed for too long, you will always wake up feeling very hungry, and so you will always turn to something that can give you an instant energy boost. For most people, this means eating fatty/sugary foods, and if you always sleep a lot, these unhealthy foods will become part of your daily meal or even your only meals.
Getting enough rest every other night is vital for your health, and it will also affect your eating habits. Keeping a routine sleep schedule and finding ways to relax before bed are some of the best methods of ensuring that you snooze fast and for long so that you can also improve your eating habits.
I am Jane, a blogger of g9sleeptight.com. I love sharing useful tips and solutions to help you have a good night’s sleep. Follow me on Twitter: @g9sleeptight