We know proper sleep is essential to function but exactly what and how does it affect us?
Getting enough sleep is important for a variety of reasons, from improving memory and productivity to reducing stress and the risk of developing certain health conditions. But did you know that sleep also has a significant impact on your diet?
Studies have shown that inadequate sleep can disrupt the hormones that regulate hunger and fullness, leading to an increased appetite and a greater tendency to overeat. Specifically, sleep deprivation can lead to an increase in ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite, and a decrease in leptin, a hormone that signals fullness. This can create a vicious cycle where poor sleep leads to overeating, which in turn makes it harder to sleep well.
Furthermore, research has found that sleep deprivation can increase cravings for high-calorie, high-fat, and high-sugar foods. In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, participants who were sleep-deprived reported greater cravings for junk food than those who slept for an adequate amount of time.
But it’s not just the quantity of sleep that matters. The quality of sleep is also important. People who experience sleep disturbances, such as insomnia or sleep apnea, may also be at greater risk of overeating and weight gain.
On the other hand, getting enough high-quality sleep can actually help you maintain a healthy weight. One study found that participants who slept for seven to eight hours a night had a lower body mass index (BMI) than those who slept for less than seven hours or more than nine hours.
So, how can you improve your sleep and, in turn, your diet? Here are a few tips:
By prioritizing sleep and making healthy lifestyle choices, you can improve both your sleep and your diet, leading to a happier, healthier you.