Here’s Why You’re Always Hungry
I came across some impressive numbers the other day that I had to share with you. If you're feeling tired, you are NOT alone!
Did you know that we're getting less sleep than ever? Almost 60 years ago, a survey of more than 1 million people found that most people got 8 to 9 hours of sleep every night.
By 2000, that number dropped to about 7 hours a night. And now?!? Now, almost 20 years later, sleep experts say we're sleeping even less – many of us only 5 to 6 hours a night!
Well, damn! That's a significant drop in an even shorter period of time.
That said, I guess it's not surprising how energy drinks have become, so popular, right? But, guys beware -- "powering through" on too little sleep is not a good idea for the long-term health of your body.
The fact is, you don't have to wait to feel the impact of too little sleep on your hormones. You might be feeling it today!
There are two primary hormone "pathways" that take a huge hit when you don't get enough sleep – they include hormones that manage things like your sex drive, overall stress, hunger, and blood sugar … and (ironically enough) even your ability to fall asleep!
It only takes a night or two for them to get out of balance.
One pathway is governed by your pituitary gland, and the other is your autonomic nervous system. But they are intertwined, and they have a hand in virtually every function of your body. Keeping your hormones in balance is a massive part of feeling focused, healthy, and vital.
I'm going to hit on just a few ways your sleep affects your hormones.
Hunger: When you don't get enough sleep, your body releases two essential hormones that affect your appetite.
Ghrelin is your hunger hormone, which tells you to eat. Leptin is your "I'm full" hormone, which signals you to stop eating. Having disrupted sleep can throw these out of whack, leading you to feel hungry – and to stay hungry, even when you eat!
On top of that, when you eat your blood sugar levels can spike, causing your body to release insulin (another hormone) to help offset it, followed by a rapid decrease in blood sugar that can make you feel hungry again.
As you can imagine, this can cause a round-robin effect, leading to weight gain and a long list of related health problems (i.e., leptin resistance, insulin resistance, metabolic disorders, etc.).
Stress: Lack of sleep can cause stress – and this stress can cause lack of sleep! The two go hand-in-hand.
When you're stressed, your "fight or flight" hormones like adrenaline and cortisol can rise and lower (also affecting your blood sugar and insulin levels, see above!), making it hard to relax, wind down, and doze off to sleep.
Over time, your cortisol levels – which generally rise in the morning to help get you going, and lower at night to help you sleep – can get turned around, throwing your sleep cycle off.
Libido: Being sleep deprived for one week can cut your testosterone levels by as much as 15% (even in women!). This can have a pretty significant impact on your sex drive, making you feel less "in the mood," less often!
All of that adds up to have a pretty significant impact on your quality of life!
It can be tempting to think of sleeping as wasted time, but it's actually the opposite. It's when your body recovers, restores and recharges for the coming day, helping you live your best life!
My ebook Supercharge Your Sleep contains a lot of great info about sleep along with tips you can use to improve both the quality and quantity of sleep. It also includes info on when to get help for possible sleep disorders – according to the Cleveland Clinic, about 70 million Americans suffer from them.
If you need guidance about ways to improve YOUR sleep or other healthy habits, remember, I'm here to help!
Click Here to get your free copy of "Supercharge Your Sleep."
Until next time, sleep well, and keep moving toward a better you!