In the overworked, overscheduled modern world, many of us are guilty of sacrificing sleep to fit everything in. Whether it’s work, social events or other commitments (or trying to squeeze in another episode of Game of Thrones), we think that shaving an hour here and there off our nighttime rest can’t do any harm.
But in actual fact, consistently not getting enough sleep can affect your physical and mental health, as well as your waistline. We’ve known for a while that eating the wrong sort of foods can have an impact on your quality of sleep, but it turns out that it’s a two way street.
A recent study compared the brain activity of 23 participants after a full night’s sleep and then after inadequate sleep. When shown photos of food items, the participants’ brains were clearly shown to favour the unhealthier and higher calorie content foods.
The answer may be because after a rough night of less than ideal sleep, the part of the brain that controls impulse, judgement and complex decisions was actually negatively affected, leaving participants open to picking a greasy burger over a rice cake.
Simply put, by getting less sleep you’re letting your desires run free regardless of the consequences!
Lack of sleep also messes with your body’s hormones, giving you an increased appetite, and stops you from getting enough REM sleep, when your resting body burns the most calories.
So next time you’re wondering why you can’t quite shift that extra weight, take a look at your sleeping patterns—you may be surprised at the difference it could make.