In our society is not only commonplace for people to burn the candle at both ends but it is even revered as a respectable trait. Is there any connection between these poor sleep habits and the epidemic levels of obesity in our society?
A UCLA study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology suggests a clear connection between poor sleep patterns and hunger. It turns out that sleep-deprivation causes an increase in a hunger stimulating hormone called “ghrelin” and a decrease in another hormone called “leptin“–a key hormone in the regulation of appetite and metabolism. It is no surprise that nighttime eating is commonplace among the overweight and obese.
It is important to note that these, and other, hormones are directly linked to the part of the brain that is responsible for subconscious control of eating and metabolism. When these hormones are out of balance, hunger and eating are difficult to control. Self-discipline is little help in such a situation. Healthy sleep patterns play an important role in controlling appetite and helping you to achieve your weight loss goals.
(Psychoneuroendocrinology, 34:540, 2009)