Poor Sleep and Binge Eating
Do you ever get tired and crave
Intense cravings throughout the day for carbs and sweets can be
a sign that you’re not getting enough sleep. A hormone called
ghrelin, which stimulates your appetite, increases when you don’t get
enough sleep. So people with high levels of ghrelin often find it
difficult to resist temptations — think cookies, chocolate, and
other high-calorie foods. Instead of sugary snacks, try adding sweet
dreams to your nights.
Sleep affects many hormones. The hormone leptin signals your brain
when you’re full. If you don’t get enough sleep, leptin levels
decrease. Therefore you are less likely to stop eating when you have
had enough to eat because your brain doesn’t “see” the red light. You
may find that you can regulate your appetite by regulating your
Both leptin and ghrelin are major influences in energy balance.
Leptin (long acting hormone) helps supress food intake. Over used
Leptin from long term caloric restrictions such as caloric BMR or
lower, can reduce the amounts of leptin produced therefore, can cause
muscle catabolism, not good for fat loss for many reasons other than
the obvious, which is muscle melts fat. Obese people are usually more
leptin resistant. If you produce large levels of Leptin, you can be
resistant to its actions.
Ghrenlin (fast acting hormone) stimulates food intake. This hormone
is time triggered too. Just like being consistent with your meals
throughout the day, when your starting a new meal plan, for at least 2
weeks will give you great results in making your getting the benefit
of this hormone. Ghrelin, secreted from the stomach, particularly
influences the metabolism of fat tissue by promoting its storage
during hard times. One glass of water before every meal may decrease
the amount you will eat and suppresses ghrelin. There’s also some
research that Ghrelin imbalance may cause IBS.
The majority of hormones can be trained to perform their actions, by
what habits you form on a consistent basis.
As you know, when one hormone is out of balance, the rest soon to
follow. Ghrelin induces other metabolic actions such as spikes in
blood sugar, called the hyperglycemic effect. Hyperglycemia
leads to insulin hormone resistance, which leads to diabetes or other
pancreatic malfunctions. Therefore modified fasting, which decreases
ghrelin secretion and increases leptin, may provide an effective
technique for treating obesity. Modified fasting is a fancy word for
watching your portions and staying in your caloric requirements for
the functions you need to perform on a daily basis.
The desire for food is controlled by complex interactions between
hunger/satiety and caloric or energy requirements. Sleep is a huge
part of the energy requirement function. By slowing down digestion
and increasing the length of time food stays in the stomach,
practicing good sleeping habits, it is possible to maintain
equilibrium between ghrelin and leptin. Through fasting and chewing
your food slowly you can suppress ghrelin and hunger at its origin.
A great tip for sleep is to have a calming tea, an hour before
bedtime. Italian Chamomile is one of my favorite
Rob Lagana, Fitness Coach
Elite Nutritionist, and Stress Reduction Therapist
I’m on a mission.
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