- Lisa Kelly
Sleep and Cravings Explained
We’ve all been there …
You have a crappy night of sleep and the whole next day, you want to eat ALL the food.
And despite ALL the food, you never actually feel full or satisfied.
Did you know that not getting enough sleep is one of the top reasons you could be having cravings?
I’m going to break it down for you … because knowledge is power!
And then I’m going to give you a clear strategy for dealing with it.
Depending on what study you look at, between 1/3 and 1/2 of adults don’t get enough sleep.
This matters because your sleep affects two hormones that play a big role in your appetite AND metabolism.
First, there’s leptin. It tells your body when you’re full, and it also tells your body when to create energy to fuel your activities.
BUT … when you don’t get enough sleep, your body doesn’t have enough of it.
This makes your brain think you don’t have enough energy … which leads to a signal to eat … PLUS another signal to store the calories you eat as backup for the energy shortage.
So in not science-y words: low leptin levels can make you feel constantly hungry AND slow down your metabolism. Helloooo vicious cycle!
Ghrelin (gremlin, what?) is almost exactly the opposite of leptin. Its levels actually RISE when you don’t get enough sleep. Too much ghrelin can make you feel hungry and slow your metabolism.
All of those words to help you understand how leptin and ghrelin can set you up for a cycle of cravings and weight gain!
It makes getting enough regular, quality sleep – 7-9 hours a night! – super important (I know, easier said than done right?).
If you find that you are having cravings because you didn’t get enough sleep, do some trial and error to find something that offers some improvement in your sleep. Here are some things you could try:
→ Try to eat enough protein - for best craving-crushing results, have a protein-rich food at every meal
→ Drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water every day. (150 lb person = 75 ounces)
→ Go to bed early if at all possible (so sorry if tiny humans live in your home, this likely won’t be happening)
If you need help with strategies for your healthy lifestyle, I have you covered! Reach out today to get started before the weeks is done! Contact me
Don't forget to check out the Refire Fitness Crush Your Cravings Guide
Do you need to simplify your nutrition approach? Reach out, I love talking about food :)
Refire Fitness is active on social media and aims to provide an engaging community with education on fitness, nutrition and mental health. Join me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!