Sleep deprivation can confuse the natural mechanism of our bodies. Certain control mechanisms are put out of action. Are you constantly craving for pizza, chips and cake for no special reason? It might be that your lack of sleep causes an increased appetite.
Sleeping to prevent appetite?
According to a recent US study this might actually work. American researchers conducted a new study on sleep deprivation. This was presented at a joint meeting of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society. They found that people cannot resist calorie-rich food or find this very difficult when they are tired. Because the brain responsible for control declines from lack of sleep. People that fullfill their sleep pensum, have better control over themselves.
Research on Sleep deprivation
Research indicates that those who enjoy a regular sleep of 5 hours per night, had 15 % lower levels of the hormone leptin. At the same time the hormon grehlin increase by about the same number, 15 %.
Participants with 5 hour sleep also showed a slower metabolism. The difference showed about 110 kcal per day.
Participants opted for high carbohydrate foods,, after 2 days of sleep deprivation. It is also shown that long periods of sleep deprivation lower the glucose tolerance and reduces insulin resistance. There seems to be a link between insulin and leptin resistance. Both are also strong predictors of obesity.
Not just more Appetite
The scientists measured the activity in inhibiting active brain regions of 12 participants, while showing them images of high-calorie foods. For comparison, the subjects were also shown pictures of stones and plants. It was clear that the brain activity decreased when looking at the pictures of calorie bombs when the subjects had not slept enough and felt tired.
Appetite and Hunger
Most people confuse appetite for hunger. There are about 15 hormons that play a significant role when it comes to hunger levels. The most important hormons for hunger regulationare Leptin, Grehlin and Neuropeptide.
Hormon Triggers for Hunger
What triggers your Appetite to kick in and crave all those unhealthy foods? The leading cause for food cravings in healthy individuals is lack of sleep. The most common triggers for Hunger and/or Appetite are:
- Lack of Sleep
How are those hormons triggered and how can we balance them out?
Hunger Hormones explained
Leptin is released from the bodies fat cells. It acts as a communicator between your fat cells and the brain, by sending information to the brain. When the calorie intake equals the calorie burn, the Leptin level stays balanced. An information is s ent to your brain telling him, that there is no need to overeat or to starve.
That’s where the crash diets come in. Diets cause the Leptin to give inconsistant information to the brain. THis results in increased hunger or cravings. Leptin protects you from your body’s starvation.
The brains Leptin sensitivity is equally important. This is the receving part for Leptin messages, within your brain. When the fat cells are not responding to the messages sent, this is usually called a leptin resistance. Often this occurs together with Insulin resistance.
INTERESTING FACT: The more fat your body has, the more Leptin is produced.
Ghrelin is a hormone that activate appetite. High levels of Grehlin activate cravings. Usually Grehlin increases before a meal and lowers naturally after eating something.
Neuropeptide Y (NPY)
NPY is released through calorie restriction and low levels of leptin. Neuropeptide is suppose to delay the feeling of fullness whilst eating. High levels of NPY therefore causes the individual to eat hudge amounts of food without feeling physically satisfied. Another job of this hormon is to the body where to store fat and how to store calories. So, therefore high levels of this hormone, Neuropeptide, causes you to store most calories as fat rather than muscles. Balanced Leptin levels can shut down the NPY signals.