Have you ever had a cruddy night of sleep and then the entire next day you want to eat ALL the food??
And, to make it worse, you never actually feel full or satisfied?
I’m guessing, like me, you’ve been there…especially since between 1/3 and 1/2 of adults don’t get enough sleep.
One reason this matters is because sleep affects two hormones that play a big role in your appetite AND metabolism.
Leptin tells your body when you’re full, and it also tells your body when to create energy (i.e., burn calories) to fuel your activities.
BUT…when you don’t get enough sleep, your body doesn’t have enough of it.
This makes your brain think you don’t have enough energy…which not only creates a signal to eat more, but another signal to store calories as backup for the energy shortage.
Think of Ghrelin as the ‘growling gremlin’ in your stomach…it’s a hunger hormone because it stimulates appetite, increases food intake, and promotes fat storage.
And, when you don’t sleep enough, ghrelin levels INCREASE, making you eat more than needed because you’re constantly hungry.
Pair this with too little leptin and not only are you eating too often, but there’s no signal to say you’re full, either.
Bottom line: Too much food + too often + too little energy expenditure = a cycle of cravings, fat storage, and weight gain.
Here’s some good news: We can counteract this with getting enough regular, quality sleep – at least 7-9 hours a night!
If you find you have poor eating habits caused by too little sleep, here are a few things you can do to move forward 1% better every day:
→ Track your sleep. A sleep tracker like the ones on many fitness devices (FitBit, Apple Watch, Whoop, etc.) will not just let you know how much you’re sleeping but also the quality of sleep: light, deep, restless, etc.
→ Make sure you eat enough protein, the most satiating nutrient. For best craving-crushing results, have a protein-rich food at every meal.
→ Keep hydrated. Urine should be pale yellow (totally clear isn’t necessary, but dark is not good).
→ Exercise regularly. Exerting energy helps promote deep sleep.
→ Go to bed early if at all possible and, ideally, around the same time each night! Creating a Sleep Habit routine can help and you can get some ideas here.
Hopefully that provides some practical motivation to catch some more zzzs.
Now…time to get ready for bed! 🙂
Committed to your Success,
Jess & Team Valeo