If you’re not getting enough sleep studies show it could be causing you to gain weight. Carrie Bloemers, a personal health advocate with Lee Health, says when you’re hungry for sleep your body starts to crave things other than a good night’s rest. “Your chronological clock rises and falls with the sun, so a lot of our hormones are based on that.”
Our appetite is regulated by two hormones, lepton and ghrelin. Those hormones can either increase or suppress your appetite depending on how much sleep you’re getting. “If you’re not sleeping enough you actually have higher levels of ghrelin which stimulates your appetite and lower levels of lepton which makes you feel full,” said Bloemers.
If you can’t sleep at night, it’s important to try to get enough sunlight and maintain solid blocks of sleep throughout the day. “They do a lot of research with shift workers or people working overnight are not getting a lot of sleep. And that lack of sleep and lack of following your natural daily rhythm can impact those hormones and your daily metabolism,” said Bloemers.
If you’re awake overnight, your body craves more sugar to keep it stimulated. This can have an impact on your insulin levels and weight. “If our sleep is not routine, or if we’re up all night, or it changes, it really impacts all different hormones and signals in your body, which has an impact on how your body utilizes sugar and how your metabolism runs,” said Bloemers.
Irregular sleep patterns can take its toll on your body, making it important to make time to get enough rest, sunlight, and nutrients while you’re awake.
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