When we don’t get enough sleep, we tend to feel and do things that don’t usually represent our best selves. This can result in less than optimal conditions, like lower energy, irritability, and poor diet. It may not seem like there’s a direction connection, but sleep deprivation can completely sabotage your diet.
Proper diet and exercise is key to living healthier, but these things may be made much harder when you’re low on sleep. When we become sleep deprived, we tend to skimp out on healthy foods. This causes an imbalance in our diet and can result in us consuming less than stellar food.
In this article, we go over just how sleep deprivation can make you eat unhealthier than usual, and how to help prevent and stop this.
Where does sleep deprivation come from?
Everyone knows that a good night’s rest is a must for health, but not very many people are aware of just how common sleep deprivation is. This comes from a variety of sources, a few common reasons for a lack of sleep include stress, unsuitable sleeping environment, bad mattress, poor diet, and so on.
Symptoms include exhaustion, a lack of focus, irritability and mood swings, among others. Knowing how to spot these signs can help you alleviate sleep deprivation much sooner.
Why it contributes to improper dieting
When our brain is deprived of sleep, it’s not so good at decision making. This also falls under the category of food and cooking, as we tend to take the easy way out when tired. If you’ve ever chosen to go to a fast food restaurant instead of making dinner at home after a long and tiring day, you know the feeling.
Because of this, you make poor eating choices when you’re low on sleep, consuming more than you ought to and of unhealthy foods. You might forgo cooking for convenient foods loaded with fats and sugars. A long habit of this may eventually give you health complications, combined with the problems that a lack of sleep brings.
Studies show that a tired brain also craves food more. You end up wanting more sugary and salty food when you’re exhausted, which makes you overeat.
Steps you can take to fix and prevent this
If you’re already afflicted with sleep deprivation, it might be difficult to fall out of bad habits, but it’s not impossible.
First off, find out the source of your sleep deprivation. If it’s irregular sleeping hours, make a schedule to correct this. Going to bed at normal hours and a proper bedtime can really go a long way in fixing your restless nights.
If you need a better sleep environment, invest in some quality sleep accessories to help you go to sleep. There are products such as sleeping masks, white noise machines, etc., that can get you better sleep.
Next comes the issue of diet. It can be really difficult to change to a healthier diet, but swapping out unhealthy foods with healthier foods can make you feel so much better and more energized.
Nighttime eating is especially notorious for helping to pack on pounds, and sometimes it’s unavoidable. Instead of reaching for that bag of chips, you can try other healthier nighttime snack options. If you have to eat at night anyway, make sure it’s nothing too loaded with fats and sugars, as these especially can make sleep more difficult for you.
Eating properly helps outside of just getting better sleep, as these can give you long-term health benefits.
Seeing a doctor when necessary
If applicable, it might benefit you to see a doctor for any problems you may be having with sleep deprivation. They can best give you advice on what to do to help fix this issue. Your doctor will know what’s best for your body and can properly encourage a plan of action.
This can also help you to avoid any unsafe changes in your life that you’re not entirely sure about. If you’re ever in doubt of anything potentially harmful, seek a second opinion from a healthcare practitioner.
Both sleep and a healthy diet are necessary to living well. Sleep, however, can sabotage the other, and make your life all the more difficult. You can help change up your sleep schedule to achieve better sleep, and make your mental and physical well-being that much more pleasant.
Eating unhealthy also has an adverse effect on your health in the same way that sleep does, so try not to eat foods full of fats, sugar, and salt that often, especially at night, as it could ruin your sleep cycle. Both factors hand in hand can work together to create a health nightmare for you, but with the right tips in mind, you can help prevent this entirely.