Several recent studies suggest that too little sleep may disrupt the balance of hormones that regulate hunger and appetite and increase the risk of weight gain. Researchers found that sleep deprivation in healthy adults caused an increase in a hormone responsible for feelings of hunger and a decrease in a hormone that suppresses hunger. These findings have lead to new investigations about the role of sleep in the epidemic of obesity and have reaffirmed the notion that sleep is as important to good health as diet and exercise.

The difference between a restless and a restful night has a lot to do with the quality and quality of your diet. When considering the best menu for sleep, keep in mind that the goal of eating is to provide the body with energy and that the time of day when energy is needed most is the morning. So remember to eat a nutritious breakfast and have no more than a light snack before bed in order to sleep well and feel your best each day.

Reviewed by David G. Davila, MD (December 2009).

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Food and Sleep - Research

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