Four Ways Sleep Affects Your Eating Habits

About a third of Australian adults don’t get the amount of sleep they need every night according to the Australasian Sleep Health Foundation.

If you are not getting a good night sleep regularly, you are more likely to be unhealthy. In fact, The BMJ Journal published a study in 2010 that found sleep-deprived people were “less healthy, less attractive, and more tired” than when they’d slept well.

You probably know that lack of sleep affects your mood, immune system and healing. What you might not know is that not getting a good night’s sleep also affects eating habits, what your brain craves, and how well your body metabolises what you eat.

Adds To Your Waist

Even if you’re doing everything you need to in order to lose weight, losing sleep regularly can add an inch to your waist, according to PLOS One. If you could get 12 hours of sleep a night, your waist circumference and weight were found to be much more likely to drop.

sleep affects eating

Causes You to Make Poorer Food Choices

A 2013 study by Obesity Society found that when you go grocery shopping while sleep deprived, you buy more food than you need and foods that are higher in calories than you normally would. This means that the food that you have in the house will be worse for you, and you will eat it because it’s convenient. This is not only bad for your waist, but it’s also bad for your wallet.

sleep affects eating

Makes You Crave Carbs & Fats

When you don’t have enough sleep, you get the munchies the same way that you would if you had smoked a joint – meaning you crave foods that are bad for you in terms of carbohydrate and fat content, according to the academic journal SLEEP. This could be the reason for your mid-afternoon cravings.

sleep affects eating

More at Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Being sleep deprived is also linked to a higher risk of developing type II diabetes because of the way that the body metabolises glycerin and insulin, according to a 2006 study in JAMA Internal Medicine. The lack of sleep can cause the human body to be hungrier, which can lead to overeating and weight gain over time.

Overall, getting a good night sleep is incredibly important to your health. You may be asking yourself, “What can I do to help myself get a better night’s sleep?”

We’ve got some tips for you!

sleep affects eating

Ways to Improve Your Sleep

– Buy a Better Mattress for your current body

Mattresses should be replaced every 6 to 8 years to make sure that they are giving you the best support and comfort that they can.

– Create Air Flow

Your bedroom should be between 15 and 17 degrees Celsius when you sleep to have the optimum sleep conditions. You can do this by adding airflow to your room with a fan or an open window.

– Avoid shopping while sleep deprived

Last but not least, try and plan your shopping out so that you are less likely to buy things that are going to keep you up at night like caffeine and alcohol.

sleep affects eating


sleep affects eatingAuthor Bio: Sara Westgreen is a researcher for the sleep science hub Tuck.com. She sleeps on a king size bed, where she defends her territory against cats all night. A mother of three, she enjoys beer, board games, and getting as much sleep as she can get her hands on.