Sleep deprivation can cause people eat more and to gain weight as a result. The connection between lack of sleep and the risk of obesity is something that researchers have known about for years. A recent study authored by the University of California's Matthew P. Walker (a professor of psychology) indicates that this may be the result of the way that sleep deprivation affects our brains.
Related Blog: How to Make Your Bedroom a Relaxing Oasis
The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Eating Habits
According to the research, people who were deprived of sleep for a single night had significant changes in how their brains reacted to junk foods. On days when subjects had inadequate sleep, their brains had a much more pronounced response to high-calorie foods. Specifically, the part of the brain that saw a heightened response was the part responsible for the motivation to eat. Simultaneously, subjects saw a dip in frontal cortex activity. The frontal cortex is the part of the brain where rational decisions are made. In other words, a sleep-deprived brain is much more responsive to junk food and has less ability to control its impulses.
The theory that some experts have is that when people suffer from a lack of sleep, they eat more food to replace the calories they burn as they stay awake. One study from the University of Colorado found that sleep deprived people actually burned 111 calories per day. However, the new research shows that the changes in brain response could be seen even when the subjects got extra food and did not experience greater hunger sensations. Sleep-deprived subjects in the University of Colorado study wound up eating much more than those who slept for nine hours.
The Importance of Having a Quality Mattress
Getting a good night's sleep starts with the basics and one of the most basic factors is your mattress. A quality mattress will provide adequate support for your body without taking it out of alignment. A four-year study by Research Triangle International found that even slight differences in the support level provided by mattresses were able to cause changes in sleep quality.
Good sleep can minimize weight gain; therefore, a quality mattress is an essential part of fighting obesity and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Visit either of our Land of Sleep locations today to find your perfect mattress and start sleeping better tonight!