Hormonal shifts, circadian cycles, and behavioral patterns affect the link between sleep deprivation, midnight munchies, and belly fat. Some important links:
Hormonal Imbalance: Sleep deprivation harms the balance of hunger-regulating hormones ghrelin and leptin. Leptin signals fullness, while ghrelin promotes hunger.
Increased Caloric Intake: Behavioral Patterns: Sleep-deprived people eat more calories, especially from high-calorie, carbohydrate-rich foods. This can cause weight gain and belly obesity.
Unhealthy Food Preference: Cravings for Sweets and Snacks: Sleep deprivation increases the desire for sugary, fatty, energy-dense foods.
Circadian Rhythms: Eating time: Disruptions from irregular sleep patterns or sleep deprivation might impact meal time.
Stress and Cortisol Levels: Stress-Induced Eating: Sleep deficit increases stress and cortisol production.
High cortisol levels may cause stress-induced eating, especially of high-calorie, sugary comfort foods.
Sleep deprivation can lead to decreased energy expenditure and motivation for physical exercise, resulting in decreased physical activity. Inactivity can cause weight gain and abdominal fat.