Sleep deprivation leads to a preference for carbohydrates and sugary snacks | Matthew Walker

Parent Episode: Dr. Matthew Walker on Sleep for Enhancing Learning, Creativity, Immunity, and Glymphatic System

Ghrelin, a hormone produced in the gut that signals hunger, acts on cells in the hypothalamus to stimulate appetite, increase food intake, and promote growth. It is often referred to as the "hunger hormone." Ghrelin’s effects are opposed by leptin, the “satiety hormone.” Sleep deprivation increases ghrelin levels and feelings of hunger while suppressing the satiety effects of leptin. Interestingly, these alterations are often accompanied by changes in food preferences, opting for high carbohydrate foods like pizza, pasta, and sweets. The downstream effects of these food choices are weight gain and metabolic dysfunction. In this clip, Dr. Matthew Walker describes how sleep deprivation drives a preferential desire for high carbohydrate foods.

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