It’s no secret that lack of sleep is bad for your health. However, not everyone knows that, in addition to a dull complexion and rapid fatigue, a careless attitude to precious night hours of rest also leads to weight gain.
Let’s find out why sleep deprivation can cause overeating and how to fight uncontrolled appetite after a sleepless night.
What scientists say
The latest study in this area was published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Experts from the authoritative publication found that people who do not get enough sleep eat an average of 385 kcal more the next day (this is the approximate energy value of a medium-sized hamburger or glazed donut).
If a person regularly does not have a good night’s sleep, then extra calories inevitably lead to weight gain. The researchers also found that those participants in the experiment who did not sleep, choose foods with a higher fat content, ignoring protein and complex carbohydrates.
Why lack of sleep leads to overeating
The authors of the study link increased appetite after a sleepless night with the work of hormones, such as leptin and ghrelin, which are responsible for feeling full and hungry. If the body does not have time to recover overnight, then the next day’s caloric and not the most useful food seems much more attractive than usual, respectively, it is harder to resist.
How to eat if you do not get enough sleep
The International Journal of Obesity has published a menu for those who can’t afford 7-9 hours of sleep, but still want to stay in shape. So what to eat on days when you haven’t slept:
- Whole-grain foods with a low glycemic index (brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal).
- Useful fats (nuts, seeds, avocado, fish, vegetable oil).
- Balanced dishes (bread with peanut paste, toast with turkey and avocado, salmon with vegetables).
Experts also advise not to deny yourself the little joys: if you want, you can eat a piece of chocolate or cookies – it will help reduce stress and prevent overeating.
Sleep deprivation and overweight – a new study by scientists
The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) has published an unusual study that found that sleep deprivation can be a serious cause of overweight.
The experiment involved 15 healthy young men. Initially, they rested at home for a week, and the next 10 days slept no more than 5 hours on weekdays (imitation of the workweek). As part of the experiment, participants were given a high-fat meal for dinner but felt less satisfied after eating after not getting enough sleep.
To monitor the effect of sleep deprivation on metabolism, participants took blood samples. Tests have shown that sleep deprivation harms lipid metabolism after meals.
The simulation of the workweek ended on the weekend when volunteers could sleep 10 hours to recover. Fat metabolism was slightly better but did not return to baseline.
Research shows how the body copes with the absorption of fats in sleep deprivation. Insomnia leads to excess weight – not only by increasing the feeling of hunger but also by slowing down the rate of burning calories.
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