Your pillow and your plate may not seem connected, but they are. If you’ve ever found yourself craving comfort food following a night of fitful sleep, you’re not alone. A recent review of 17 scientific studies links sleeping less than five and a half hours a night with eating an average of 385 extra calories the next day — many of them from fat-laden foods. If you regularly miss out on sleep, those calories can add up! What’s the connection between sleeping too little and eating too much? Preliminary research suggests that sleep deprivation may disrupt your brain functions that regulate hunger and satiety, resulting in increased activity in your brain’s reward circuits. That means you’re more likely to eat for pleasure rather than hunger. To get the shut-eye your body needs, follow good “sleep hygiene” practices by creating a relaxing sleep routine, sticking with a consistent bedtime and wake time, minimizing your caffeine and alcohol intake, getting daily exercise, turning off your screens an hour or two before bedtime, and getting plenty of natural light during the day.
Sources: The effects of partial sleep deprivation on energy balance: a systematic review and meta-analysis
“Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together. Thomas Dekker