The Easiest Way to Become a Younger, Healthier, Thinner You
Sleep's Effect on Hunger
Have you ever had a restless night's sleep and felt famished in the morning? The cause of your hunger is actually too little sleep. Most of us have a sleep deficit (getting less than 7 hours per night or less than 49 hours per week). The result from being overtired is that your body and your brain are primed to make bad decisions.
When you wake up starving, you might reach for something easy and quick to eat, such as a breakfast of cereal, toast, or a bagel to provide an energy burst as well as satisfy your hunger. But literally feeding your energy needs this way will only slow you down. Your body will turn these directly into body fat. The next carb-heavy meal will do the same thing, and eventually you will train your body to store all carbs and never burn them. This leaves you more tired and ultimately heavier.
Sleep's Effect on Ghrelin and Leptin:
Poor sleep can also affect your internal chemistry. Sleep directly influences two key hormones that regulate satiety and hunger: ghrelin and leptin. Elevated levels of ghrelin increase feelings of hunger, while leptin acts to suppress appetite. Interestingly, serotonin is vital to regulating the brain's response to both of these hormones. When you suffer from sleep deprivation (or a sleep deficit), your body's levels of leptin and ghrelin fall, creating that "hungry but never satisfied" feeling.
To help balance your serotonin levels and regain your health, try my Younger (Thinner) You Diet. It's not necessarily a low-carb diet, but it does require you to choose more complex carbs that provide nutrition as well as the building blocks of serotonin. These carbs are slower to digest, so you feel full longer, and the body has more time to use them as fuel. That way, you're burning more and storing less. You are retraining your body, which will facilitate weight loss. And with more serotonin, you'll also get more sleep.
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Eric R. Braverman, M.D.
Dr. Braverman is a Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brandeis University and NYU Medical School, did brain research at Harvard Medical School, and trained at an affiliate of Yale Medical School. He is acknowledged worldwide as an expert in brain-based diagnosis and treatment, and he lectures to and trains doctors in anti-aging medicine.