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Ghrelin and leptin: how sleep affects your appetite

July 20th, 2009

Very interesting article by Jackie Dikos in Running Times about the relationship between sleep and appetite:

There are two hormones associated with sleep that influence eating behaviors: ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin is the hormone that lets your body know you’re hungry. Leptin’s role is to send a message to stop eating when your body has had enough. When you’re sleep-deprived, your ghrelin level increases. At the same time leptin levels decrease. So you crave additional food while simultaneously not getting the proper message to stop eating.

Seems like a pretty straightforward connection, and explains the well-documented links between getting too little sleep and gaining weight. I’ve posted before about how sleep aids athletic performance, and it’s worth adding Dikos’s conclusion:

Sleep is another way to nourish your body, just like a high-quality food choice is.

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