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One Night of Sleep Deprivation Leads to Increased Food Purchases

When you have been sleep deprived for just one night, you are more likely to experience a greater hunger for food the following day. You will also be subject to impulsive food buying, according to a new study out of Sweden.

Alarm clock insomnia

A study by the Obesity Society, which was published in the Journal of Obesity, found that there were higher levels of ghrelin, a hormone that increases hunger, in those who had been sleep deprived for a day. Those who had gotten a full night’s sleep had much lower levels of ghrelin.

In the study, the researchers hypothesized that there would be an impact on higher functioning decisions and self-control when shopping for food at a supermarket. Those who were sleep deprived would feel this impact and therefore be more likely to make calorie driven food choices while shopping.

The study indeed found that the sleep deprived subjects purchased more calories and grams of food than they did after having a full night’s sleep. Despite the subjects having a standardized breakfast before shopping during their sleep deprived state and their normal state, the grocery shopping done while sleep deprived resulted in a +9% and +18% increase in purchase of calories and grams of food, respectively.

We’ve heard many times that sleep deprivation is linked to weight gain. This study shows how poor sleep translates into high calorie food purchases, which is a key part in the cycle.

Need to lose weight? Focus on getting better sleep. Here’s how:

It’s easy to suggest sleeping better, but very difficult to pull off if you are the one lying in bed at night, tossing and turning. When your busy mind has a mind of it’s own, it is not necessarily open to suggestion.

This is why you may benefit from learning about your brain’s Default Mode Network (DMN).

The Default Mode Network is the area in the brain that is responsible for ‘self-referential thoughts’ (autopilot thinking). When you are not consciously engaged, your default mode activates. This is when the brain generates thoughts and feelings on its own. When you lie in bed at night, hoping to drift off into slumber, the DMN is active.

And thus begins the swirling, obsessive and even exciting thoughts that ultimately keep you awake much longer than you can afford. Restlessness is the result. People in this situation would give anything to “turn off their mind.’

Amazingly, you can do just that. Researchers have proven via fMRI scans that the DMN can be deactivated. And it does not require special equipment, medical supervision or years of practice. This revolutionary finding was reported in the March 2010 edition of Scientific American Magazine in an article called The Brain’s Dark Energy.

Best of all, the DMN has profound practical implications for insomniacs who cannot turn off their autopilot, overactive mind once their head hits the pillow. A few specialized cognitive activities that disengage the DMN prior to sleep have proven to be a dream come true for thousands.

To learn how to turn off your mind and get some rest, check out the iNLP Center’s online program called Sleep Switch. This program utilizes simple and effective activities that are proven to switch OFF the Default Mode Network so you can fall sleep quickly and naturally.

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One Night of Sleep Deprivation Leads to Increased Food Purchases


Mike Bundrant

Mike Bundrant is the author of Your Achilles Eel: Discover and Overcome the Hidden Cause of Negative Emotions, Bad Decisions and Self-Sabotage and co-founder at The iNLP Center which offers online certification in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and life coaching.


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APA Reference
Bundrant, M. (2014). One Night of Sleep Deprivation Leads to Increased Food Purchases. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 15, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/nlp/2014/07/one-night-of-sleep-deprivation/

 

Last updated: 1 Jul 2014
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network (blogs.psychcentral.com) prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.