Obstructive sleep apnea can disrupt your sleep by causing blocked airways, snoring, and breathing interruptions. Interestingly, there is a correlation between sleep deprivation, weight gain, and appetite. Individuals who are overweight are more prone to developing sleep apnea, which can further affect various systems in the body, including those that regulate appetite.
The Connection Between Sleep Deprivation and Appetite
The quality of your sleep plays a crucial role in mental clarity, physical energy, moods, and even eating habits. Research indicates that poor sleep quality affects the production of appetite-regulating hormones. When sleep is deficient, the levels of ghrelin, which stimulates hunger, rise, while levels of leptin, which helps decrease appetite, decline. This hormonal imbalance can leave you feeling tired and constantly craving food. However, hormonal fluctuations are not the only contributing factor to the relationship between sleep deprivation and increased appetite. Here are some additional findings:
- Exhaustion often leads to cravings for sugary foods and caffeine.
- Lack of sleep tends to amplify cravings for high-carb and junk foods.
- Individuals with poor-quality sleep tend to consume higher-fat diets compared to those who consistently get a restful eight hours of sleep.
- People who are sleep deprived consume twice as much fat and over 300 extra calories per day compared to those who sleep well.
Sleep Quality and Lipid Levels
Poor sleep quality triggers a process in the body that elevates the blood level of a lipid called endocannabinoid, which stimulates the brain in a manner similar to marijuana. This can make eating more enjoyable and potentially trigger food cravings. This may explain why individuals who lack sleep develop a hunger for specific types of foods like cookies, candy, and chips, leading to weight gain.
If you struggle with an overactive appetite and weight gain, and suspect that poor sleep quality may be a contributing factor, we encourage you to reach out to us in our Glen Burnie location. Our sleep evaluation process can identify whether sleep apnea is an underlying issue, and our experts can develop a customized treatment plan to help you achieve restful nights and restore balance to your appetite. Your journey to improved sleep and overall wellness begins here.