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Sleep Hygiene: Tired and Overeating? Here’s Why!

Do you find yourself craving foods and overeating when you’re tired? Well, you are not alone!

When we are tired, our body’s release of ghrelin and leptin changes, and we end up being drawn to high-calorie foods. Too little sleep will increase the hormone that makes you feel hungry (ghrelin) and decrease the complementary hormone that signals you are full (leptin). This can result in us eating when we aren’t actually hungry and not getting a cue to stop when we’re full. Reduced sleep also leads to increased cortisol, which causes us to feel more stressed and anxious and can heighten hunger and lead to binge eating.

Did you know adults need at least 7 hours of sleep each night? Yet, most of us don’t get that

much!

So what can we do to improve our sleep hygiene?

  • Set a sleep schedule & avoid sleeping in for more than an hour extra

  • Don’t stay in bed if you can’t fall asleep (20 mins max) – Try reading, journaling, or drawing *but avoid screen time

  • Implement a calming routine before bed (warm bath, meditation, relaxing music, etc.)

  • Avoid napping (or keep it under an hour and earlier in the day, if required)

  • Limit caffeine, nicotine & alcohol consumption before bed

  • Only use your bed for sleeping & sex (not reading, watching TV, working, etc.)

  • Eat well & exercise (avoid big meals and strenuous activity within 2 hours of sleep time)

  • Create a quiet, dark & comfortable sleeping environment (use a sleep mask, white noise, fans or ear plugs when necessary)

Sleep well!

References

Does poor sleep make you vulnerable to binge eating? (n.d.). Psychology

Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/the-binge-eating-prevention-

plan/202108/does-poor-sleep-make-you-vulnerable-binge-eating Rob Newsom. (2022, April 12). The connection between diet, exercise, and sleep. Sleep

Foundation. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/physical-health/diet-exercise-sleep

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