A lack of sleep adversely affects your ghrelin/leptin balance. Inadequate sleep promotes ghrelin hormone release which increases appetite. In addition, leptin hormone release is lessened so that you're less likely to feel full. As a result, there's a tendency to eat more food at night--usually not the healthy kind. Also, because a lack of sleep may reduce your basal metabolic rate (BMR), your body will burn less calories while resting. Thus, the combination of increased caloric intake from snacking late at night in conjunction with a reduction in caloric expenditure will cause increased body weight as a result of increased body fat.
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