A new study showed that women who lack sleep crave sugar and unhealthy fats. This study included almost 500 women and spanned 1 year. The publication appeared on Feb. 17, 2020 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
The researchers analyzed what the women ate, how much sleep they got and what their health risks were. The poorer the women’s sleep was, the more they consumed unhealthy fats and added sugar.
The researchers stressed that women are already at risk for obesity and sleep disorders. When they increase their calorie intake because of added sugar and unhealthy fat consumption, they are adding the risks of getting type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Heart disease is the leading cause of deaths in females in the US
Dr. Brooke Aggarwal, one of the chief contributors to the publication, said: “Our study really highlights the importance of good quality sleep for the management of body weight as well as potentially preventing heart disease among women.”
Heart disease has been difficult to control nationwide. It is the leading cause of death for women in the US killing 299,578 women in 2017. This translates into about 20% of all female deaths in the US.
According to the CDC causes of heart disease are having diabetes, being overweight or obese, eating an unhealthy diet, staying physically inactive and drinking too much alcohol.
Sleep deprivation makes you eat more food
The study followed about 500 women between the ages of 20 and 76 for one year. More than 30% of the women had poor sleep quality. Some suffered from insomnia. Less than 30% slept less than 7 hours per night. About 25% also had insomnia and slept less than 7 hours per night. On average, women slept less than 7 hours per night. Women who did not sleep well or enough ate an additional 500 to 800 calories per day. Younger women with sleep deprivation ate lesser amounts of dairy. The study stated that a lack of sleep made women hungrier and in addition, suppressed hormone signals that communicated fullness.
An overstimulated hippocampus makes you crave unhealthy foods
Aggarwal said: “There is previous documentation, that when we are sleep deprived, or we don’t get good quality sleep, our hormones can actually stimulate hunger feelings. The ones that regulate suppression of hunger and fullness and satiety can be off balance.” Intake of added sugar and unhealthy fats lead to hyperactivity of the hippocampus. The hippocampus is responsible for your food intake. This makes it much harder to avoid cravings for unhealthy foods.
Dealing with sleep deprivation
Cognitive behavioral therapy may help women who are struggling with insomnia. Also, make sure your bedroom is dark and cool. In addition, have a wind-down time before you go to sleep. Put away the phone. Use portion control to avoid larger meals. And cut out unhealthy fats and extra sugar intake. Eat more fruits and vegetables, include whole grains and legumes, lean meats and fatty fish. The omega-3 fatty acids of fish prevent hardening of the arteries and heart attacks. I reviewed the best foods to avoid a heart attack here.
A new study showed that women who lack sleep crave sugar and unhealthy fats. This was a publications on Feb. 17, 2020 in the Journal of the American Heart Association. It summarized that sleep deprivation leads to consumption of too much extra sugar and unhealthy fats. In time the women gained extra weight, were at risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The best prevention to avoid these added risks is to increase the time slept to 8 hours a night and to actively refrain from eating extra sugar and unhealthy fats. Keep the bedroom dark and cool and have a wind-down time before you go to sleep. Eat more fruits and vegetables, and include whole grains and legumes, lean meats and fatty fish. Exercise regularly. All this will help you to avoid heart attacks and strokes.