Threading on from where we left off, we talked about sleep hygiene, and a recent study by Lundahl and Nelson has found that there is some co-relation between sleep and appetite and hence weight gain.
Food intake is driven by homeostatic, behaviourial, biological, emotional, cognitive and environmental factors. Though diet is important to consider in the treatment for chronic health disorders associated with food intake, a closer look should be given to how sleep affects these factors. Lundahl and Nelson argue that these mechanisms are heavily altered and influenced by sleep patterns. For example, after a bad night’s sleep, the hormone controlling appetite is affected, emotional stress is greater, more food is desired to compensate for lack of energy and impulsivity is increased, all of which affect the amount of food that you would consume in a day. They conclude:
“Health psychologists should be mindful of the link between sleep and eating, and sleep should be actively considered in efforts to modify dietary behavior.”
Lundahl & Nelson (2015). Sleep and Food intake. A multisystem review of mechanisms in children and adults. Journal of Health Psychology. 20(6). 794-805. DOI: 101.1177/1359105315573427.