For Ebony Magazine, Erika Nicole Kendall on the connection between poor sleeping habits and weight gain
Early last week, a study was released that clearly outlined a pattern that many people are painfully familiar with: lack of sleep not only encourages the brain to develop a stronger connection to the sugar-fat-salt trifecta in certain foods, but also makes it more difficult to fight the cravings for it.
Originally, theories about poor sleep and metabolism ran the gamut. “People eat more because they’re awake more,” “people who are awake eat excess calories at night, causing weight gain,” “bodies ‘burn fewer calories at night,’ (thereby justifying the ‘don’t eat after 7PM’ rule),” and more all influenced people’s individual choices about what they eat and when they eat it. Now, there might be another argument for the sleep-food connection.
The study looked at the brain imaging of 23 subjects as they ate, while in various states of being rested or sleep-deprived. Apparently, reward-centers of the brain reacted stronger to junk food while sleep-deprived, than it did when well-rested. The lobes of the brain most responsible for regulating food choices responded more poorly in the sleep-deprived mind than in the well-rested one, as well.
Dr. Matthew P. Walker, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at UC Berkeley, spoke to The New York Times about the study:
“Their hunger was no different when they were sleep deprived and when they had a normal night of sleep […] that’s important because it suggests that the changes we’re seeing are caused by sleep deprivation itself, rather than simply being perhaps more metabolically impaired when you’re sleep deprived.”
Even without this small study, I think there are a few things we could ascertain about people’s natural behavioral patterns and how they relate to sleep and eating…read more→
Talk to me, #bgg2wlarmy, about your sleeping habits. Do you think they’re affecting your day? How do you feel when you’ve gotten a good night’s rest in comparison to a poor night’s rest? Let’s hear it!