I will not lie, I have moderate OCD. I like things a certain way, I like things to be done and completed a certain way, and numbers and facts geek me out. So when I discover something that clicks, I think I just have to share it.
The other day I made the mistake of going to bed at 7:30 with my 3 year old. I was dead tired and after laying down and reading a bedtime story with him, I was out. At around 1 AM, my body decided I had enough sleep for a little bit. I was awake from 1 AM -4 AM. Not a big deal, I went back to bed at 4 and managed another 3 hours of sleep.
The next day though, I was starving. I hadn’t been this hungry in a LONG time. I’ve gotten used to a routine. I like routines. Carnation Sugar-Free Instant Breakfast in the morning, a 400-calorie meal at lunch, and then a 400-500 calorie meal for dinner. That’s it, every day. But that day I was famished. I managed somehow to push through without eating anything extra except 2 Hershey kisses.
Later, scouring the Internet for ideas like I love to do, I found this article.
We have very substantial research that shows if you shorten or disturb sleep, you increase your appetite for high-calorie dense foods," says Charles Samuels, MD, medical director of the Centre for Sleep and Human Performance in Calgary, Alberta. "On a simplistic level, your appetite changes."
Two hormones in your body play an important role in controlling appetite and satiety. Ghrelin stimulates appetite, causing you to eat; leptin suppresses appetite—so you'll stop eating—and stimulates energy expenditure. In a properly functioning brain, the two hormones are released on and off to regulate normal feelings of hunger. But research has shown that sleep deprivation can alter ghrelin and leptin levels.
"When sleep is restricted to four hours a night, ghrelin levels go up and leptin levels go down," says National Sleep Foundation spokesperson William Orr, PhD, president and CEO of the Lynn Health Science Institute in Oklahoma City. "So you have a greater amount of appetite and a greater amount of intake."
Now I knew that sleeping would cause you to be hungry late at night, but I had no idea that hormones messed up your appetite for the rest of the day. I have to admit, I was pretty geek’d up about learning this.
And the reason I mention it today? I was up last night again at 2 AM … and currently starving, haha.