What we put into our bodies by way of food and beverage is as important as how we treat our physical bodies. Poor sleep and lack of exercise can be primary contributors.
A recent study evaluated how disrupted poor sleep may be correlated to excessive food intake, ultimately resulting in higher risk of long-term health outcomes such as diabetes and obesity. The study reports that after a restless sleep, appetite-controlling hormones are impacted, emotional stress is increased, and more food is consumed to compensate for the lack of energy.
From a scientific standpoint, biological, cognitive, emotional, and behavioural mechanics all played a role in the relationship. Neural activation in the orbitofrontal cortex was higher in response to food versus non-food images in the study.
Numerous studies have also suggested that individuals living in stressful environments may be at risk for both sleep problems and excess food intake. The take away message is sleep quality is an integral factor in modifying dietary behavior. Increasing consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables is desired, over refined grains, fat, and sugar.
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