Yes, today I am the non-stop eating machine. Fortunately after a shop (with list I might add) yesterday, my house is stocked with low point goodies like Go Ahead Bars, Ainsley Harriot Cup-A-Soup, salads, and Skinny Cow ice cream lollies.
I haven't slept well over the last few nights as cough and my son have interfered with my 8-hour-a-night habit. I wondered whether this might play a role in my increased appetite as I suspected as much when my son was newborn seven years ago.
On the Women's Health site, Tracee Cornforth writes: "According to recent studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and the Lancet, sleep loss tends to increase hunger and affects the body's metabolism making it difficult to maintain weight loss or lose weight."
The hormone cortisol, which reins in your appetite is affected by sleep depravation, causing a feeling of hunger even if you've had adequate food intake.
Oh and there's more....
Sleep loss interferes with carbohydrate metabolism causing excess amounts of glucose in the blood stream. This allows for insulin overproduction - leading to the storage of excess body fat and insulin resistance.
Michael Thorpy, MD, director of the Sleep-Wake Disorders Center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York says: "Sleep loss is associated with striking alterations in hormone levels that regulate the appetite and may be a contributing factor to obesity. Any American making a resolution to lose weight in the New Year should probably consider a parallel commitment for getting more sleep."
"Sleep loss disrupts a complex and interwoven series of metabolic and hormonal processes and may be a contributing factor to obesity," said Dr. John Winkelman, medical director of the Sleep Health Center at Brigham and Women's Hospital. "What most people do not realize is that better sleep habits may be instrumental to the success of any weight management plan."
On that note, I am setting myself a sleep target of 8 uninterrupted hours sleep a night this week!