If you struggle to get a good nights sleep on a regular basis you could be putting yourself at risk of weight gain.
A recent study published in the Journal of Health Psychology has concluded that after looking at various studies that your sleep patterns can affect your food intake.
Of course if your food intake increases then you are likely to gain weight, which will in turn put you at risk of developing numerous health problems including heart disease and diabetes.
These health conditions will then put you at risk of an early death, so getting enough sleep (at least 7 hours every night) is paramount to your long term health.
Read on to find out why a lack of sleep can cause weight gain:
#1: It can affect your hormones
When you are not getting enough sleep it has been shown that your hormones can be affected, in particular the hormones leptin and ghrelin.
Leptin is the hormone that helps to send satiety signals to your brain, telling it that you are full.
While ghrelin is a hormone that send signals to your brain telling it that you are hungry.
If your leptin levels are reduced and your ghrelin levels increase when tired then this is a dangerous combination that will no doubt lead to you suffering food cravings.
#2: It makes you feel miserable
If you are tired then you will feel miserable, which could mean that you will eat ‘feel-good foods’ in an attempt to cheer yourself up.
Certain food types, like sweets or chocolate for example contain compounds known to promote happiness, yet these same foods have also been shown to promote weight gain too if consumed in large quantities.
#3: It can affect your cognitive function
When you are tired you may find that your cognitive function, in particular your executive function will be negatively affected.
Executive function can help you to organise healthy eating goals and behaviour, which can be used in mindful eating.
Without this function you are more likely to reach for a snack or high-fat food.
#4: It can make you more impulsive
A lack of sleep can make you more impulsive, so when those inevitable cravings do come it is very unlikely that you will be able to stop yourself from giving into them.
All this points to how important sleep is for weight loss. If you are not getting enough then you may find it difficult to reach your weight loss goals.