Hungry or just tired?

I am constantly talking about how important sleep is, yet on Wednesday night, when I was crawling into bed around 10:30, and setting my alarm for 4:45, I realized I would get a maximum of just over 6 hours of sleep if I fell asleep right away. 6 hours is barely enough for me to function, and my optimum is about 8, so why was I setting myself up for failure? I had a busy day ahead of me and had to be at school super early yesterday, hence the 4:45 am alarm. I barely got any of that six hour of sleep and by the time I got home in the afternoon I was a walking zombie. I crawled into my bed and slept for an hour and a half and it was the most wonderful thing in the world. 

When I woke up, my uncle had arrived from Saskatchewan to stay with us a few days! HE BROUGHT CARROTS. If there is one very specific way into my heart, it is this. 

Straight from the garden. Tastier than ever. After having garden carrots, the ones from the grocery store taste like nothingness. Yes, those are purple carrots. Combining two of my favourite things – carrots and the colour purple.

I was well rested after my nap (and a few carrots), but I have found something super interesting when I don’t get a lot of sleep (aka between 5 and 7 hours)โ€ฆ I am so hungry all damn day. Usually the constant hunger happens when I have run really far or swam a lot but this crazy hunger is from my lack of sleep. Whenever I don’t get a lot of sleep and I am super tired, I just want to eat all day long. 

If your body isn’t well rested, it won’t have the energy to perform your normal daily tasks. It starts to signal hormones to trigger hunger so that it can get energy in the form of Calories. Sleeping = 0 caloriesโ€ฆ not sleeping = a whole bunch more calories. The image below comes from THIS article!

I am going to be more conscious about making an effort to get a full 8. I am also going to ask myself more often on days when I don’t quite get enough sleep, “Am I hungry, or just tired?” In most cases it will be the latter and I will take a power nap instead of snacking. 


Last night I hopped in the pool for a quick swim. My friend who just ran the sub-3 marathon on the weekend joined me. He is not quite ready for lots of exercise yet (OBVIOUSLY), so I requested his social presence there to keep me company swimming. When we got there the lane swimming pool was full of triathletes. 

After frolicking around in the leisure pool, which is way warmer than the lane swimming pool, and treading water for a bit, the triathletes left and we took over the empty pool. I swam 1000m and called it a day. After such a terrible sleep I was going to make it my rest day anyway, so any workout was just a bonus. I think we sat in the hot tub for longer than we swam laps!

It was nice to have a social workout instead of a lonely treadmill run! Plus, the hot tub before bed practically guarantees a good night’s sleep – which I needed! It is amazing how much sleep affects our whole lives including our hunger signals. I felt like I was performing human experiments on myself whenever I was not getting enough sleep and noting my extreme hunger levels throughout the day. It was a crazy difference compared to days where I got at least 7.5 or 8 hours! 

Have you experienced similar hunger differences dependant on sleep?

Did you have a garden in the summer? What did you grow?


  1. I do eat more when I’m tired, but getting a full 8 isn’t realistic for a full-time working momma of two. I have learned to live on 7…less than that and I start to feel sluggish, which makes me eat SUGAR.

  2. I have been hungry all week! I know it’s from the marathon and that exhausted burnt out feeling, but I just can’t stop eating…lol. I love the purple carrots! My friend posted them on her blog recently but I have never tried them.

  3. I am not a very productive person when I don’t get 7-8 hours of good sleep. a lot of hours in bed doesnt’ work if your sleep is broken up, thats what I face most nights ๐Ÿ™ I find I have less willpower, less patience and way less mental focus. Great Post! p.s I also have rainbow carrots. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I definitely notice hunger when I’m tired. Days I got a crappy sleep all I want to do is snack and snack. I also tend to eat more “bad” foods. That’s why sleeping is a super high priority to me.

  5. fun/nerdy fact about purple carrots: carrots used to be all different colours ranging from light orange to dark purple, and each region/farm grew a different colour/variety of carrot, so you would know where the carrots you bought were grown based on the colour that they were. and then when mass-farming started, carrots were modified to all be orange so that you wouldn’t know where they were coming from, which is why you can only find orange carrots in the grocery store but you can find purple ones in home gardens and farmers markets! innnnnnteresting

    also i need 8 hours of sleep a night or i am a monster

  6. I’ve never thought about tiredness contributing to hunger. This is great to know. Especially since I’m not sleeping well these days with a newborn. lol

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