the hunger hormone

Lack of sleep increases the feeling of hunger in people. The less sleep, the greater the feeling of tiredness and the greater the feeling of hunger. Studies have shown that the hormone that registers a feeling of hunger, ghrelin, occurs in higher blood levels in people who have had too little sleep, compared to people who had had enough sleep.


In addition to the increased concentrations of ghrelin, a lack of sleep also means that the amount of energy that the body uses at rest is reduced. In short: the body burns fewer calories.

Junk food

Another recent news item headed: too little sleep increases the need for junk food. There is also a good explanation for this. The reward center in the brain is more active with less sleep. Which means that people with a sleep deprivation are more likely to give in to eating unhealthy food when they see or smell it. In an earlier study it was already shown that people with a sleep deprivation have a greater need for sweet and salty food.

Quality of sleep

Not only the amount of sleep, but also the sleep quality has a relationship with nutrition. There are indications that a high-fat diet reduces the quality of sleep. The sleep would be less deep and more fragmented.

Sleeping against being overweight

Can adequate sleep prevent overweight? No definitely not. But it is becoming increasingly clear that the development of overweight and obesity is a complex whole. It is not always a simple sum of too much food and too little exercise. It is a total of someone’s lifestyle – sleeping, diet, exercise – which leads to obesity and other related health problems such as diabetes.