How Sleep Affects Weight Gain


So i've talked a lot in previous episodes of this podcast about these connections between sleep and hunger appetite weight management. There are a lot of connections there. But i'm obviously always approaching this from the food and nutrition side of things. And i'd love to get your perspective on this as a sleep expert. So how do you see or approach this relationship between sleep. Appetite and weight management shore. Yes just as a refresher for your audience. You've probably covered. How we are sleep deprived the body compensates for the lack of energy by craving more calories and intensive reach out for more saturated fast carbs and sweets to sort of make up for that loss. Energy will pardon me not helpful. That's exactly right because one type of energy doesn't actually substitute for the other. We don't get the type of energy and replenishment refreshment that we get from sleep by eating potato chips for example. But that's our body needs to sort of make up for if we don't get enough sleep and also when we don't sleep enough we have less leptin and more ghrelin levels in our blood after that night of not enough sleep. Which is how these hormones behave when we're very hungry when our appetite is not suppressed so them where we end up getting more hungry in artificially sort of reaching for more food and so you've already probably cover some of these topics. But i think what's less talk about in terms of how sleep is related to appetite and hunger is the role that our circadian clocks play all of this. So just to give a really brief primer on circadian clocks we all have these biological rhythms in us and they usually run about twenty four point one ish hours and these are really inbuilt built to our biology all of our systems. Run on this sort of rhythm. And ideally everything runs kind of in sync with each other. You can kind of think of your body as a busy train station you know. Each train has to be on scheduled to not run into other trains and not delay passengers. And so you can imagine how much of a hot mess it would be if every train conductor was looking at a clock right so for everything to run together all the trains needs to be on time in have this rhythm and the best way to have that rhythm is to keep a consistent sleep wake schedule and when you do have this consistently voiced federal and rhythm than your metabolism runs efficiently. Your mood is good. Your hormones are in sync and your sleep is good and your energy levels are good but and maybe your appetite isn't as out of control exactly. Your appetite is more in tune with what your body actually needs rather than artificially inflated if that makes sense let me just make sure i understand what you just said. It's that it's not even so much about a lack of sleep or sleep deprivation getting six hours of sleep instead of eight hours of sleep but it's more about the consistency of this sleep rhythm that affects our appetite. That's ray and actually both of the things you named are both really important. I think we may have heard a little bit more about the sleep deprivation. Peace and not as much about the circadian rhythms. I really liked to emphasize the people that sleep is not just about the amount and it's not even just about the quality or the depth of sleep it really is also about the timing we can be kind of wishy washy with our asleep rhythms ray. Either we maybe. We can't control it because we do rotating shift work. And that really can put a wrench in your circadian rhythms or. We travel a lot and we have jet lag or we don't travel for work but we jet like ourselves by getting up at very different times on weekdays versus weekends so for example. If you usually get up at seven am on weekdays but you sleep in until ten on weekends. That's like jet lagging yourself by flying to california and back every weekends but you didn't even get to have the final travel. You've just screwed up your circadian rhythm doing it.

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