Insomnia induces high calorie intake and sugar-laden indulgence

Sleep deprivation has already been linked with obesity and while we are still not done blaming lack of physical activity resulting in lack of sleep. Sleep Specialists at The London Sleep Centre Dubai believe that, sleep deprivation can lead to gorging on sugar-laden junk and forbidden calorie-rich food sins.

If you are one of those who reach out for ‘pick-me-up’ sugary delights like latte, crisps, biscuits and donuts over healthy food options to keep your day going; then trust us, it is your sleepless nights that’s doing you all the harm. Sleep deprivation may cause overeating by boosting chemicals for appetite as well as those that increase the pleasure of eating sweet or salty high-fat foods. It may help to note that Sleep Deprivation initiates the process of getting obese by amplifying and extending blood levels of a chemical signal that enhances the joy of eating.

A study led by King’s College London, found that sleep-deprived people consumed an average of 385 kilo calories per day extra, which is equivalent to the calories of about four and a half slices of bread. The analysis included studies that compared a partial sleep restriction intervention with an unrestricted sleep control and measured the individuals' energy intake over the next 24 hours. They found that partial sleep deprivation did not have a significant effect on how much energy people expended in the subsequent 24 hours. Therefore, participants had a net energy gain of 385 calories per day.

Two hormones in our body play an important role in controlling appetite and satiety. Ghrelin stimulates appetite, causing us to eat; Leptin suppresses appetite so that we stop eating and stimulates energy expenditure. In a properly functioning brain, the two hormones are released on and off to regulate normal feelings of hunger. Sleep Deprivation can however alter Ghrelin and Leptin levels.

Dr. Irshaad Ebrahim, Medical Director at The London Sleep Centre Dubai stated: “If you're chronically sleep-deprived and consume more high-calorie foods, it's likely those calories will be deposited around your middle, forming fat deposits that are especially dangerous for raising your risk of obesity-related illnesses like diabetes, heart diseases and hypertension. The trouble doesn't necessarily end if you watch what you eat. Cheat sleep and you may have more trouble losing weight, even if you have a healthy diet.”

To fight Sleep Deprivation related binging, try the following:

Rest well: Get the sleep you need, every single day.
Work out early in the morning: Exercising can aid sleep but not when done right before you sleep.
Eat right: Ditch the carbs and go for proteins when you feel like binging.
No Alcohol: You are mistaken if you think alcohol relaxes you. It sure does hamper your sleep process and resting phase.

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