"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Can lack of sleep trigger food “addiction”?

We've all heard it. Maybe a few of us have said it too. Phrases like “no willpower” and “can't push off the table” are sometimes used to dismiss an chubby or obese person's lack of “motivation” to regulate their eating habits. . But, is that this really the principal explanation for weight gain?

It's an easy dietary principle that if calories consumed exceed calories expended, weight might be gained. Therefore, most weight reduction programs give attention to cutting calories. Many see failure to follow these practices as a scarcity of motivation, dedication, or mental toughness. However, there's now growing evidence that the “energy deficit” may be explained by chemical and hormonal changes that occur in consequence of sleep deprivation.

There is a growing body of knowledge that supports the link between obesity and insufficient sleep. The increase within the obesity epidemic on this country over the past 40 years has been correlated with a progressive decrease in the quantity of sleep reported by the common adult. In large population-based studies, obesity has been related to less sleep. But if this connection is true, what may be the connection between lack of sleep and weight gain?

Oh Recent Empirical Studies Published in Journal to sleep provides some clues. Sleep restriction of 4.5 hours per night was in comparison with normal sleep for each 4 nights in a bunch of young, healthy adults. When measured at the top of 4 days, the ratio of ghrelin (which increases appetite) and leptin (which decreases appetite), the two hormones accountable for hunger levels, were shifted in favor of greater hunger. Other studies have observed the identical thing. However, this study measured something that others had not: breakfast consumption, particularly those high in fat and protein, was higher after sleep restriction—and, surprisingly, greater than Participants' levels of endocannabinoids increased in proportion to the timing of high breakfast consumption. Endocannabinoids are chemicals that stimulate appetite (like ghrelin), but more importantly, also stimulate reward centers within the brain. Thus, this finding suggests that sleep restriction may make the act of eating more satisfying. Could it's that insufficient sleep causes weight gain by activating the brain to make eating more palatable? If so, the “lack of energy” is probably not as a consequence of personal weakness, but somewhat the results of an addictive chemical imbalance resulting from lack of sleep.

There is little doubt that this interesting discovery needs further investigation. However, this already provides additional evidence that adequate sleep is important for optimal health, and specifically, for combating obesity. It also suggests that greater efforts are needed by public health officials, individual physicians, and most people to realize the 7 hours or more of sleep per night advisable by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.