3 Ways Your Sleep Affects What You Eat
Getting between seven to nine hours of sleep a night is not just important for your health, but for your diet as well. Once a healthy routine is broken, the rest of the body falls with it. Several studies have shown that sleep deprivation reduces productivity, weakens the immune system and increases the risk of cancer, stroke and heart disease. Here, we bring to you three ways why sleep is playing a more prominent role in your diet than you may realize:
While some food experts recommend eating smaller snack-sized meals throughout the day as part of a healthy routine, sleep deprivation takes this form of eating to the extreme. Lack of sleep can result in a decrease of physical activity and an increase in excessive snacking, which inevitably leads to unwanted weight gain.
Studies have shown that not only do we crave high-fat, unhealthy foods when we’re tired, but our brains also fail to register the consequences of our food choices. Even just a single night of poor sleep can lead to these cravings which wrecks havoc with our diets.
Disrupting your internal clock that guides your natural sleep patterns also controls the time at which you feel hungry throughout the day. “Late sleepers” tend to experience delays in their meals during the day and usually eat dinner after 8pm – where they consume more calories than average. In addition, late eating habits prevents the body from drifting off to sleep the next night, which continues the cycle of sleep deprivation and poor eating.
Remember, the key when it comes to sleep is balance – too much or too little can affect your diet in a negative manner. Try going to bed at the same time each night and avoid night-time distractions, such as tablets or smartphones. Getting a good night’s sleep will help reduce cravings and keep your diet in check.
About Matt Lawson Matt Lawson is a UK based sports journalist who covers all the latest football (soccer) news and matches for the Press Association. A keen Newcastle United fan, Matt is usually found either watching or playing the beautiful game.