As if the early weeks of having your new baby at home aren’t unsettled enough. Sleep researchers are no finding that disruptions in sleep can also lead to disruptions in eating habits.
A study at the University of Colorado followed 16 healthy men and women over a 2 week period in a controlled environment. They determined that staying up late and getting only 5 hours of sleep, increased a person’s metabolism, yet they tended to eat more and of the 2 week study those same people had gained an average off 2 pounds.
It turns out that the extra hours of being awake gave the participants more time to eat, and what they ate tended to be carbs.
The participants were awakened 3 hours earlier than normal and therefore their biological clocks were out of whack. In other words, their internal nighttime had not ended. This change influenced their eating habits. They tended to eat a smaller breakfast and a lot more after dinner. Overall, there was a 6 percent increase in the number of calories consumed.
What does this mean for a sleep deprived new mom? The sooner your baby gets on a schedule the faster your own sleep and eating patterns will return to normal. Meanwhile sleep when your baby sleeps, and hide those potato chips in the back of the cupboard.