After a disrupted sleep, the hormone controlling appetite is affected, emotional stress is greater and more food is desired to compensate for lack of energy and impulsive behaviour.
All of these factors affect the amount of food that you will consume in a day.
“Doctors should be mindful of the link between sleep and eating and sleep should be actively considered in efforts to modify dietary behaviour,” said researchers Alyssa Lundahl and Timothy D. Nelson from University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
It is well recognised that excessive food intake is linked with obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
“Understanding the mechanisms linking disrupted sleep patterns to increased food intake is important for informing both prevention and treatment interventions for chronic health conditions,” the authors said.
Food intake is driven by biological, emotional, cognitive and environmental factors.
Lundahl and Nelson argue that these factors are heavily altered and influenced by sleep patterns.
Disrupted sleep could lead to long-term chronic health damage in both adults and children.
It is important for people to be aware so that if they are suffering from lack of sleep, they can take greater care to consider the quality and quantity of food that they are consuming.
The paper was published in the Journal of Health Psychology.