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Does Reducing Sleep Makes you HUNGRY?
Does Reducing Sleep Makes you HUNGRY?

Are we something of an insomniac and when we don't get at least seven hours' sleep we become tired and irritable?

We know that a bad night's sleep affects my memory. The link between sleep and memory has been around for a long time and one plausible theory is that during deep sleep your brain moves short-term memories, collected that day, into long-term storage, freeing up space in your brain for more memories.

So if you don't get enough deep sleep those memories will be lost.

Getting a good night's sleep (rather than staying up late and cramming) is particularly important for students who are currently getting ready for exams.

But what really surprising is how much a bad night's sleep can affect blood sugar control and hunger, even in healthy people.

We recruited a group of healthy volunteers and, under her supervision, fitted them with activity monitors and continuous glucose monitors, so we could see what was happening to their blood sugar levels, every five minutes or so.

Sweet Dreams

We can see how much our blood sugar levels can rise on the days when we are sleep deprived, and how hungry that made us.

All of us, whether we feast on biscuits or managed to stick to our normal diet, can see marked increases in our blood sugar levels, to the point where some previously healthy individuals can have levels you might expect to see in borderline type 2 diabetics. These problems can resolved after a couple of good nights' sleep.

There is now a lot of evidence from big studies which suggests that people who sleep for less than seven hours a night are more likely to become obese and also develop type 2 diabetes.

So Why Does This Happen?

We know that when you are sleep-deprived this alters your appetite hormones, making you more likely to feel hungry and less likely to feel full. We also know that when people are sleep-deprived they often crave sweet foods, which could explain the Sweet cravings.

Also, if you're awake when you're not meant to be, you produce more of the stress hormone, cortisol, and that can influence your glucose level, as well, the next day.
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• National Sleep Foundation - Website
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