NoS and Coping With Sleep Deprivation

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Imogen Morley
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NoS and Coping With Sleep Deprivation

Post by Imogen Morley » Mon Jun 15, 2015 10:59 am

As you all know, sleep deprivation can seriously mess with hunger hormones, and the chronically sleep-deprived often struggle with weight. I'm going through a difficult spell right now, and I often find myself undersleeping, which of course makes me feel not only tired but also ravenously hungry during the day. Having bigger portions and more protein doesn't help much - I could still eat a horse as a snack. Sweetened lattes perk me up for an hour or so, and later just aggravate my hunger for something more substantial. Any ideas on how to cope with this particular kind of hunger before the undersleeping problem itself is remedied?

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Post by eschano » Mon Jun 15, 2015 11:13 am

I'm not sure you will find this response helpful but I tend to go with it and let my body have more carbs if it feels like it. That usually cures my sleeping problem too.
eschano - Vanilla rocks!

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Post by gingerpie » Mon Jun 15, 2015 11:26 am

Are naps possible? Not an ideal solution but might get you past the urge to snack for energy. Alternatively, a short brisk walk, jumping Jack's or even splashing cold water on your face (or a 1 minute cold shower) might work to perk you up and get past the urge to eat. Caffeine is a double edged sword and I wouldn't recommend it except as a last resort and definitely keep it sugar free. The sugar will cause a "crash" that only the mighty can overcome . . . Certainly not someone already sleep deprived. Are you at work? Same principles apply. Stand up and walk if you can. Go get a glass of water with lemon and eat the lemon. Go to the rest room and splash water on your face. Streach, streach again. Step outside in your break. You get the idea.

Good luck and hope you feel better soon. I really hate the feeling of sleep deprivation.

Imogen Morley
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Post by Imogen Morley » Mon Jun 15, 2015 11:56 am

Thanks for the ideas so far. I'd like to add that I'm already using some of the proposed strategies (walking, drinking lots of water, stretching etc.), but though they do make me feel more energetic for a while, they unfortunately do nothing to quell the hunger. I feel okay, but still HUNGRY.

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Post by Over43 » Mon Jun 15, 2015 3:31 pm

April 4, 2016 197

Bacon is the gateway meat. - Anthony Bourdain
You pale in comparison to Fox Mulder. - The Smoking Man

I made myself be hungry, then I would get hungrier. - Frank Zane Mr. Olympia '77, '78, '79

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Post by oolala53 » Wed Jun 17, 2015 3:08 pm

Just to say, I've had sleep problems for over 20 years and have never found that getting little sleep led to real hunger. It might make me antsy and want to pick (I felt that a lot much of my life after age 10, sleep problems or not) but not stomach-empty hunger. I empathize if you do, though. Nothing like a double whammy.

If really hungry, try more fat at your meals. Nearly every time I've started feeling hungry way early, I've realized I forgot to add some cheese or nuts or something like that to my last meal. And you MAY have to temporarily let the idea of weight loss go while you eat enough. You can still be building habit and sanity around eating while maintaining weight.

How many hours of hunger between meals are we talking about? If it's more than two, it may merit splitting up your plate into two feedings a few hours apart. I know that's not ideal, but if hunger pangs are actually impacting whether you can accomplish things you really want to, you may have to use a mod for now. One or two hours of real hunger before a meal is actually desirable, in my book, though.

Or you may decide to do nothing different and regard the hunger as an extremely annoying chronic non-migraine headache that doesn't respond to pain killers. It's not pleasant, but it doesn't have to stop everything, and you just have to live with it for now. Realize that you are likely getting adequate nutrition from your meals and are likely not hurting yourself to tolerate the hunger. It's a price you pay to get your body to use some of its fat reserves.

Maybe not the answers you hoped for! I hope the issue resolves soon.
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Post by ironchef » Thu Jun 18, 2015 5:43 am

I've dealt with a lot of sleep deprivation over the years, both related to having small children and because I've been offshore coordinator for a bunch of 24-hr day oil and gas jobs. I've tried the "carbs, sugar and caffeine" approach. It seems like it works at the time, when you just need to get through another hour, another resettle, another meeting, another dive, but it really doesn't - I ended those periods of my life fatter, sadder, less fit and with more cold sores. And I don't think my work performance benefited much either.

My magic bullet? Exercise. In my later career, I always found a way to exercise on the vessel. I have no idea if this will work for you, or if you already get daily exercise. It seems counter intuitive when you are already tired, but for me this has many positives: 1. When I do get a chance to sleep, I'm more likely to be able to go to sleep quickly 2. A quick burst of exercise makes me feel more alert (probably just by raising the heart rate / getting blood moving) 3. Most exercise (except swimming) tends to help regulate my appetite and makes me more keen to choose healthy foods.

Final thought - try to let go of the stuff about hunger hormones, research etc. I know this is hard (I have a science background and a tendency to overthink), but I find these kind of details of limited use when trying to focus on our habits. It's one thing to have an explanation for why you are more hungry, but if you focus too much on the whys and wherefores, it can become a side track and an excuse.

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Post by Blithe Morning » Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:16 pm

Flavored seltzer. The carbonation makes me feel full.

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Post by osoniye » Mon Jun 22, 2015 5:55 am

Hi Imogen,
I hope things are going well for you. Is the situation that was causing you to miss sleep a bit resolved?
I haven't been sleep deprived lately, but I sometimes get crazy hungry when I have lost a little bit of weight and my body decides to overreact with the hunger cues. Some things that help me, regarding the "what" on my 3 plates are sticking to high fiber foods with enough protein and moderate (healthy) fat, while avoiding refined carbs (and sugar). A hefty plate of veggies sauteed in olive oil, mashed pumpkin and broad beans will fill me up until my next meal, and seem to be kind of a steady release of energy for my body, so there is no food coma or big insulin reaction. Good foods for me that are high volume are fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes and nuts. It's good to limit too much caffeine and refined carbs like bread, cereal, crackers, pretzels, chips and fast food, even pizza.
I don't know if you find the same things helpful, but that's what works best for me.
PS Oh, and hot herbal tea in the evenings!
No Sweets, No Snacks and No Seconds, Except (Sometimes) on days that start with "S".

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Post by Over43 » Tue Jun 23, 2015 6:29 am

Ambien :lol:
April 4, 2016 197

Bacon is the gateway meat. - Anthony Bourdain
You pale in comparison to Fox Mulder. - The Smoking Man

I made myself be hungry, then I would get hungrier. - Frank Zane Mr. Olympia '77, '78, '79

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