I’ve warned you before that midnight snacking will sabotage your efforts to drop weight, no matter what kind of food you decide to eat.
But consider today’s conversation to be a crucial corollary to that warning: If you’re also not sleeping, your waistline will suffer just the same.
That’s because research shows sleep deprivation can set you up for feeding frenzies, too—putting your olfactory system into hyperdrive, and turning your brain and nose into diet-destroying partners in crime.
And the impact this has on your weight loss resolutions could be disastrous.
The anatomy of a binge
As part of a recently published study, researchers performed a two-part experiment on 29 subjects between the ages of 18 and 40. They split participants into two groups: One clocked a normal night’s sleep, followed by a night restricted to four hours of sleep four weeks later. The second group followed the same routine in reverse.
After both normal nights of sleep and restricted nights of sleep, researchers served the subjects three controlled meals along with a buffet of snacks. Then they measured and recorded subjects’ food choices—both the quality and the quantity.
As it turns out, sleep deprivation was a huge handicap… causing subjects not only to eat more, but to eat more junk food, too—like doughnuts, cookies, and chips.
It wasn’t a coincidence, either: Researchers measured subjects’ levels of two key endocannabinoid compounds called 2AG and 2OG. And 2OG, in particular, spiked after sleep deprivation, leading directly to lapses in judgment at mealtime.
Subjects also received MRIs before the buffet, so that researchers could observe their brains’ reactions to different food smells. And they noticed a pretty major difference in responses to food vs. non-food odors with sleep deprivation.
They also saw reduced connectivity between parts of the brain involved in sending and receiving appetite and satiety signals—again, related to increases in 2OG after sleep deprivation.
The biggest metabolism mistake you can make
This isn’t the first time we’re hearing about the endocannabinoid system’s role in regulating junk food cravings. And it may help to explain why cannabis products like CBD oil have emerged as unlikely natural allies in appetite and weight control.
But either way, the message is pretty clear: If you want to lose the weight and keep it off, you need to be getting quality sleep every single night.
And not just to keep cravings in check, either. As you may recall, healthy sleep habits are vital for metabolic health across the board.
Research even shows that just one night of sleep loss can actually alter your body at the DNA level. And that can lead to a metabolic tailspin of inflammation and insulin resistance—paving the way to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other serious health issues.
In fact, a recent meta-analysis demonstrated that people who sleep less than an average of seven hours a night have a 16 percent higher risk of metabolic syndrome. That figure jumped to 28 percent on less than six hours of sleep per night.
And if you get less than five hours of shuteye a night? Your risk of metabolic syndrome is a whopping 51 percent higher than people who sleep longer.
And that’s just for starters. Sleep is such a vital asset to your metabolism that I devoted an entire article to the subject back in the December 2015 issue of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives (“The biggest metabolism mistake you might be making—night after night”). Subscribers have access to this issue, and many more, through my archives. So go ahead and become a subscriber today!
But before I leave you, I realize that for many people, getting more sleep is easier said than done. Which is exactly why I designed my Perfect Sleep Protocol—a complete, online step-by-step program that will help you get to the root of any sleep disturbances you might be experiencing, without dangerous so-called sleep “aides.”
So if you want 2020 to be the year that you finally lose the weight… and keep it off… click here to learn more, or to enroll today.
“Why we crave junk food after a sleepless night: Blame your nose, which sniffs out high fat, calorie-dense food.” Science Daily, 10/08/2019. (sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/10/191008165821.htm)