Sleep Deprivation and Increased Food Purchases!


Being sleep deprived brings about a lot of different harmful effects on our bodies including the inability to make higher functioning decisions, pass proper judgement, and physically function without being stressed. When our bodies do not get enough sleep, our brain cannot store memory, aid decision making nor help the body function to its peak performance level. We become sluggish, foggy, and exhausted when we do not get enough sleep. Unfortunately when the body and mind has been sleep deprived for an entire day, an individual is more likely to experience a greater hunger for food during the day, and be subject to more impulse buying according to a new study out of Sweden.

In a study done by the Obesity Society, which was published in the Journal of Obesity, found that there were higher levels of ghrelin, a hormone that increases hunger, in those who had been sleep deprived for an entire day than those who had gotten a full night’s sleep. In the study, the researchers hypothesized that there would be an impact on the higher functioning decisions and self control that one uses when shopping for food at a supermarket (Wiley). Those who were sleep deprived would feel this impact and therefore be more likely to make calorie driven food choices while shopping when sleep deprived. The study found that the sleep deprived subjects purchased more calories and grams of food than they did after having a full night’s sleep (Wiley). Despite the subjects having a standardized breakfast before shopping during their sleep deprived state and their normal state, the grocery shopping done while sleep deprived resulted in a +9% and +18% increase in purchase of calories and grams of food, respectively (Wiley).

Much like when one goes to the grocery store on an empty stomach, they are more likely to buy more food due to being hungry. The mind processes that you are buying food and since it is hungry, wants you to buy enough to satiate you. A similar state happens when you haven’t eaten all day and then go to a buffet table; you tend to eat a lot more then what you would have done if you had eaten small meals throughout the day. The body reacts to the void, in these cases that of food. The mind is very similar to this when it becomes sleep deprived; reacting in such a way where it cannot make higher functioning decisions and therefore allows for there to be more impulsive buying. By being sleep deprived, one will be more hungry, and thus intake or buy more food during the day. More studying needs to be done, but the notion of keeping a sound sleep schedule for maintaining weight and a healthy body applies more than ever.


This is article one of four – the dangers of not getting enough sleep!

Wiley Source of Obesity Study

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