Another important factor to consider is the impact of sleep on cortisol levels.
Insufficient sleep can cause the release of additional cortisol — the stress hormone — and can stimulate hunger.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the average woman gets only six and a half hours of sleep per night. Chronic sleep deprivation can have a variety of effects on the metabolism and overall health.
1). Interferes with the body’s ability to metabolize carbohydrates and causes high blood levels of glucose, which leads to higher insulin levels and greater body-fat storage.
2). Drives down leptin levels, which causes the body to crave carbohydrates.
3). Reduces levels of growth hormone–a protein that helps regulate the body’s proportions of fat and muscle.
4). Can lead to insulin resistance and contribute to increased risk of diabetes
5). Can increase blood pressure
6). Can increase the risk of heart disease