Almost all of us have heard, and some have experienced it too, that there are several factors that may impact our hunger. Some of the prominent ones are physical activity, food, emotions, and cravings. But, were you aware of the fact that sleep patterns too play a major role in affecting your hunger instinct. There are mainly five types of instinct – calorie density, hunger, food availability, familiarity, and variety – that govern your relationship with food. They get impacted very easily by environmental or external factors like lack of sleep.
Lack of sleep has a direct relation with overeating and increased appetite. This is because of the two types of hormones – leptin and ghrelin – that neurologically regulated your hunger. The level of leptin goes down and that of hormone ghrelin goes up when you are sleep deprived. Leptin suppresses human appetite while ghrelin stimulates it. So when you are sleep deprived, leptin reduces in your body which in turn increases your appetite. This may lead to unhealthy food choices and therefore leads to weight gain.
The other factor impacting your appetite is that our body releases cortisol – also known as the stress hormone – when we are sleep-deprived because the human body judges it as a state of stress. The release of this hormone in the body increases the appetite and the worst thing is that it cause the cravings of high-fat, sweet, and junk foods. High levels of cortisol hormones lead to an increase in fat mass and lower muscle mass. According to some reports, the chances of fat accumulation are higher in the abdominal region.
Lack of sleep is one of the things that impact our decision making skills, no matter it is about buying food or eating food. Less sleep may cause emotional turmoil which makes it difficult for you to stick to your daily routine or follow a healthy diet.
So it is better to have a sound and a good amount of sleep if you want to be fit. Doing some physical workout and following a sleep routine can not only improve your quality of sleep but also your overall health.