Sleep, Appetite and Weight; Appetite Control Insights
If you can’t lose weight maybe sleep is the problem.
Adequate sleep is critical to controlling appetite and weight.
Inadequate sleep increases the risk for being overweight.
The connection between sleep, appetite and weight has been suspected for years.
This association has also been seen in children.
And now more has been learned about the relationship between sleep, appetite, and weight.
The hormone ghrelin increases appetite. Ghrelin increases in the bloodstream after inadequate sleep.
The hormone leptin reduces appetite. Leptin is lower in the bloodstream after inadequate sleep.
Multiple randomized controlled clinical trials have proven that people are more hungry if they do not get enough sleep.
If you do not get enough sleep you will be hungrier and probably get fatter.
And sleep should be normal not interrupted as it is if you have sleep apnea.
Not getting enough sleep increases snacking, especially evening snacking.
And depending on the sleep lost, just taking a nap may not be too helpful.
Some studies suggest that metabolic rate even goes lower just after insufficient sleep.
That means you would burn less calories just from not getting enough sleep.
Shift workers may run into even greater problems. A recent study shows that sleep deprivation coupled with changes in the wake sleep cycle or so-called circadian rhythm, lowered resting metabolic rate and the ability to secrete insulin.
That means a higher risk of weight gain and diabetes.
This finding would be very important for those who work varying shifts.
So how much sleep is enough?
That's not clear. But these studies showing these effects on hunger and appetite have demonstrated problems with 4 to 5 and half hours of sleep. These and other data suggest that 7-8 hours is a healthy amount of sleep.
A trial is being conducted to see if increasing sleep duration helps with weight loss.
In the meantime, catch up on your sleep when you can.
Getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep most of the time should help you control your appetite and weight.
Sleeping well doesn't guarantee eating well. But it will help.