Such a simple everyday function, and yet so imperative to keep your skin and body in good health, and help your internal systems function to their best ability. Sleep. Sleep to improve your memory, be more alert, have more energy, be stress-free, and for reasons aplenty that elevate this humble habit to the essentials’ list.
Researchers Alyssa Lundahl and Timothy D Nelson of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA, discovered that disruptive sleep or not snoozing for long enough has a direct impact on your eating habits and the way you behave. It leads to weight gain and can cause chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease among children and adults.
They found that poor sleep affects the hormone that controls your appetite. When in a state of unregulated fatigue, the body produces more cortisol and ghrelin, while depleting leptin. Cortisol is a stress hormone known to entice the reward sectors of the brain that yearn food. Ghrelin tells your body when to eat, and leptin hormones on the other hand tell your body when to stop eating. The imbalance will result in cravings for large helpings of carbohydrates and caffeine without a sense of control.
Lack of sleep also increases your stress levels. The thing to note about this cyclical spiral is that being stressed leads to poor decision making—which also translates in your food choices. Your body releases adrenaline and cortisol, which in the beginning when they peak lead you to experience loss of appetite. But, once the stress levels drop, your body pushes full-throttle to replenish the nutrients from your starvation period, and that’s where the culprit lies.
Both lack of sleep and stress lead to emotional eating. Instead of playing a victim to your hormones, learn to recognize your triggers and avoid them, and evaluate your sleeping patterns, pronto!
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