Lack of sleep adversely affects a plethora of bodily functions,where typically most of these effects are thought to be cosmetic or fleeting: bags beneath the eyes; an obvious state of dehydration;and if you’re a student during finals a developed sense of disregard for constructing full sentences.
Well, as it happens the excess skin around your eyes and the excess skin around your gut can be partly attributable to disrupted sleep.
In “Acute Sleep Deprivation Increases Portion Size and Affects Food Choice in Young Men” Hogenkamp, et al., finds their results mirror that of previous literature- acute sleep deprivation increases appetite- and refines an understanding of the phenomena by investigating distinctions between how much one plans to eat as opposed to actually how much one eats.
The findings were that those having undergone Total Sleep Deprivation (TSD) ate more than their rested peers, opted to chose more when selecting meals and snacks a and that these “optimal portion sizes” correlated well with actual food intake of sleep deprived persons recorded in other studies.
It was found, also, that plasma grehlin increases after TSD. Grehlin is a hormone that affects short bursts of appetite. Intravenous injections of grehlin has been found to increase activation in areas involved in hedonic appetitive control, or in laymen’s terms, that overwhelming desire to eat until your pants don’t fit.
What’s more, is that our body seems ill equipped to adapt our appetite in the face of TSD. For example, those working the graveyard shift will experience shifted sleep patterns, yet the act of altering one’s sleeping pattern increases appetite in the same manner as though one hadn’t slept.
One hopes Nabisco or MacDonald’s hasn’t heard of these findings, lest all our prepackaged foods will come with “free taurine;”