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Don’t Let Your Poor Sleep Derail Your Diet Goals

We get hungry because our body signals us to eat.

Most all the hunger we feel is regulated by leptin, cortisol, and ghrelin.

Lack of sleep triggers cortisol release by a path of signals that goes from the higher brain centers of our hypothalamus, through the pituitary gland, and then into the adrenal gland which releases the cortisol.

Lack of sleep releases ghrelin, a substance that stimulates both apatite and eating..

Lack of sleep also decreases leptin, which also can have the effect of stimulating food consumption.

Short interruptions to sleep also increases the overall sympathetic activity in the body which rises inflammation, worsens sugar metabolism, and drives poor cholesterol. Short sleep interruptions can be hot flashes, or getting up to go to the bathroom. All of that has long term consequences.

Even a single night of interrupted sleep, and even worse with two nights of poor sleep, will drive some of these physiological changes and through the decreased leptin and increased ghrelin make you hungrier.


Suzanne Trupin, MD, Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist and owner of Women's Health Practice, Hada Cosmetic Medicine, and Hatha Yoga and Fitness

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