We’re all familiar with the frustrations of dieting and exercise. But a new study reveals a far less obvious cause for obesity and weight loss problems.
Researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have revealed that poor sleep can profoundly affect our eating habits.
From the food choices we make to the amount we eat, the body’s desire for food is driven by a huge host of factors, including our energy levels and emotion. Many of these factors are strongly influenced by our quality of sleep.
Less sleep can mean more emotional stress, less energy, lower willpower and more impulsive decision-making – all of which can affect the amount of food we choose to eat.
“It is well recognised that food intake is implicated in many chronic health issues including obesity, diabetes and heart disease, and diet is often a target of treatment to prevent the onset of these conditions”, wrote authors Alyssa Lundahl and Timothy D Nelson.
“Understanding the mechanisms linking disrupted sleep patterns to increased food intake is important for informing both prevention and treatment interventions for chronic health conditions”.
They suggested health professionals should consider sleeping habits when helping people change their diet.
For those who have trouble sleeping, this could be an important reminder to take pay careful attention to the food-related choices you make, and further encouragement to resist the dietery impulses that may not be in your best interests.
Yesterday, we discussed recent news that poor sleep could also be linked to Alzheimer’s. This new finding offers yet another reminder that sleep is vital to our wellbeing.
It’s always worth remembering that many sleep disorders are treatable, so if that good night’s rest feels out of your reach, be sure to seek medical advice. You might just become a healthier eater in the process!
Do your eating habits change while tired? Would this news make you go to bed earlier?