Can Lack of Sleep Lead to Carb Cravings?

By Michael A. Smith, MD

Could lack of sleep cause sugar cravings? It certainly appears so. According to a 2010 study, healthy adults getting less than the recommended 8 hours of sleep a night had an increased appetite for higher carb foods and a greater risk for developing insulin resistance.1

It seems as though our sleep-deprived brains crave glucose when we’re trying to recover.

Getting plenty of sleep is associated with many benefits, and we may now be able to add reduced carb cravings to the list. In short, good sleeping habits may have just become even more important.

So how can we help ensure that we get more sleep? Aside from practicing good sleeping habits, you may want to also consider milk peptides.

The Sleep-Promoting Promise of Milk Peptides

Milk peptides are a cutting-edge nutrient complex consisting of bioactive peptides found naturally in milk. Used widely in Europe to promote sustained and restful sleep patterns, published studies reveal that these bioactive milk peptides also promote relaxation, help with stress, and even help support daytime cognition.

In one study, a group of 60 women that reported a variety of sleep-related difficulties experienced as much as a 65% improvement in their symptoms with 150 milligrams of milk peptides per day.2

In another study, the same 150 milligram dose induced substantial improvements across 27 markers of sleep quality and stress response in 165 healthy adults.3 And in a third study, a group of healthy men and women taking 150 milligrams a day for one month experienced a 50% improvement in sleep quality after two weeks and needed 30% less time to fall asleep after 4 weeks.4

So maybe that old wives’ tale had some merit after all — milk certainly does appear to help promote sleep, at least when we’re talking about milk peptides. And if more sleep helps to ward off carb cravings, catching more zzzs may very well be in your best interest.

Do you tend to crave carbs when you’re low on sleep? Have you noticed this yourself? Please share your thoughts in the comments.


  1. Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Oct;24(5):687-702
  2. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007 Apr;61(4):536-41.
  3. So Ken Study: Effect of Lactium® on sleep disorders. October, 2006.
  4. Open Sleep J. 2009;2:26-32.


Anonymous said...

Speaking for myself, I find it completely true. I only sleep 6/7 hours per day, then I go straight off to my desk and spend three quarters of my whole working time eating. I have to say I suffer from hyperthyroidism, but when I deprive myself of a regular amount of sleeping hours the situation gets worse than ever.

Life Extension said...

You sound like a perfect candidate for milk peptides. Give them a try and tell us what you think!

Nick Brown said...

HOly Cow! This makes perfect sense. I'm always craving carbs and I've noticed that over the last week I haven't as badly. I've just decided last week to sleep in an extra hour a day since I don't do as well at work on 8 hours of sleepy work, than 7 hours of awake work.

Makes sense.

Life Extension said...

Hi Nick. So does this mean you're going to give the milk peptides a try? If so, let us know if they help. Thanks for the comment.

yasmeen javaid said...

i am an insomniac.iam in a pretty bad condition.i have tried melatonin but it did not work.i need carbs all the summer when having more perspiration i take glucose,chocolate other sweet things.without these i cant even think about drowsiness.when i read about milk peptides i thought to give a try but milk always make discomfort.what do you suggest for me.plz help me.......

Life Extension said...

Hi Yasmeen. Try the milk peptides. There is no lactose in the product, which is the culprit behind stomach issues with milk.

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