Can Poor Sleep Make You Eat More?
If you are tired, you are more likely to reach for an unhealthy snack or just eat too much.
With a combination of menopausal symptoms, anxiety and the approach of summer all these factors can affect your sleep but did you know that could also make you eat more and affect your weight?
It seems that loss of sleep can make you eat more. And that doesn’t mean on healthy salads or green vegetables! Studies have shown that total sleep deprivation can trigger a reward system in the brain in response to food stimuli.
But until recently researchers didn’t know if there was a similar relationship between everyday sleep loss and the brain’s reaction to food. Researchers looked at volunteers who entered a nine-day study period with a built-up sleep debt.
Under ideal sleep conditions, scientists were able to show two things: That even small amounts of sleep loss can put the “brain at risk for hyperactivation to food triggers in everyday life, which could be a risk factor for obesity and lifestyle diseases.”
These include metabolic disorder, the first step toward diabetes. Yet on the flip side getting the right amount of sleep appears to reduce this hypersensitivity to food stimuli. The study was published in the journal Sleep.
Another study, published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, added work stress to the mix. Researchers found that when people came home after a hard day at work, they were more likely to eat their feelings if they were also sleep-deprived.
Simply put, if you don’t get enough sleep, unhealthy food choices may look pretty good to your brain. So getting enough sleep’s not only better for focus, but for your waistline, too.
What’s considered enough sleep? For most people that’s between seven and eight hours every night.
We know there is a definite link between lack of sleep and increased weight, and unfortunately at Menopause both weight gain and poor sleep patterns are common.
There is lots of helpful information about what’s the best kind of diet to help with your sleep, and good sleep habits, but definitely getting your menopausal symptoms under control will be a great first step to tackling the hot flushes and sweats that can disturb even the best nights sleep.