If you have those “hungry all day” days, notice whether they’re related to the amount of sleep you’ve been getting.
Your Metabolism Suffers
If you are sleeping badly, your body is more inclined to store fat. When you’re sleep deprived, your body suffers from “metabolic grogginess,” according to researchers at the University of Chicago. That means that your body can’t use the hormone insulin properly.
When insulin functions well, your fat cells remove lipids and fatty acids from your blood and prevent them from being stored in your liver and on your body. But when you become more insulin resistant, those fat cells circulate in your blood and your body makes even more insulin.That’s not a good thing because to lose weight, your body must burn stored fat for energy, but when there is insulin in your blood, your body doesn’t use that fat.
You Crave Junk Food
Poor sleep leads to an increase in the hormone cortisol, which is your stress hormone. This affects both your appetite and your mood. To counter the extra cortisol, your body produces more serotonin, which is a feel-good hormone.
This may be what makes you crave fat and carbs in the first place, because they lead to the release of serotonin. When you eat because you’re upset and feel better briefly afterwards, it is partly due to that serotonin spike.
Harder to Make Healthy Food Choices
Sleep deprivation causes changes to the parts of your brain that govern eating. In one study, after a single night of sleep deprivation, participants wanted more unhealthy foods than when they got enough sleep.
Also, sleep-deprived people were less able to make intelligent, reasoned decisions to overcome their urge to eat junk food or overeat. Sleep deprivation also makes you choose bigger portions. I’m sure you can figure out what happens when you eat more and bigger portions of unhealthy food!
Your Workouts Are Undermined
Not enough sleep interferes with your body’s ability to make muscle, which causes muscle loss and maybe even injuries. It also makes it harder for your muscles to recover after exercising by slowing down the production of the growth hormone, which is produced during deep sleep.