I spent the weekend with a Jack Russell puppy. Stella is super cute, but no one got enough sleep. I found myself eating dark chocolate almonds half way through the afternoon thinking about having a nap. You might recognize that feeling, when you know you should really get some rest, but you eat instead.
We all feel like eating more when we are sleep deprived, but researchers at King’s College London can now tell you how much more. People suffering from reduced sleep eat about 385 calories more the following day. Most of those calories are from fat. Sleep deprivation also reduces physical activity. Luckily for me, Stella requires a lot of exercise too.
Sleep deprivation results in higher activation of the area of your brain responsible for finding rewards. This may explain the increased calorie intake and choosing high fat foods. Chronic sleep deprivation is one of the most modifiable health risks and could be one of the best ways to maintain your weight. If you find yourself gaining weight you could track your sleep habits. Most adults require 7-9 hours and if you exercise, you might need more sleep. Sleep improves athletic performance. It is critical for recovery, increases in speed, reaction time and accuracy.
Stella has gone home now and things are back to normal, but I think we all liked having her around, even with less sleep.
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