BSc (Hons), Dip ION, mBANT

Poor sleep can increase appetite, impact hormone regulation, and impair immunity.

Poor sleep can increase appetite, impact hormone regulation, and impair immunity. Many adults now find an undisturbed sleep is a rare occurrence – a 2011 poll in the US by the National Sleep Foundation found that over 60% of respondents reported waking up during the night or waking up un-refreshed at least a few times a week. There are many possible causes of poor sleep, including stress, caffeine, alcohol, artificial light, and lifestyle factors such as the use of phones and laptops just prior to rest. If disturbed sleep persists, the implications for health can be significant. Studies have shown that poor sleep can impair production of cortisol and thyroid hormones, reduce glucose metabolism and energy expenditure, increase appetite, and increase production of inflammatory cytokines. It may take time and discipline to implement and adhere to changes that will improve sleep patterns, but in view of the possible long-term toll on health, worth considering if you sleep poorly.