The unbridled cravings and other cravings of the Kaamos era are explained by the low light and bad sleep of the season.

The amount of light affects sleep and sleep affects eating.

During the dark months of the winter months, the quality of sleep easily begins to deteriorate.

As always when you sleep poorly, your appetite and craving for delicacies burst loose.

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Henri Tuomilehto, a sleep doctor at Coronaria Uniklinika, knows why the lack of light during the winter months interferes with sleep.

You would think that sleeping in the dark would be even better.

- Darkness messes up the rhythm of the day, because the times of the day do not differ properly, Henri Tuomilehto says.

The central clock inside the body is a condensation of nerve cells in the brain that regulates the body's functions according to natural light.

- Light is the main regulator of the circadian rhythm.

If there is not enough light, the body’s natural sleep-valve rhythm is disrupted.

The effect begins to show quickly in eating

There is too little light in Finland in winter and too little light in summer.

Both cause sleep problems.

The effects of sleep deprivation or poor quality sleep begin to show up quickly in eating, as sleep and eating are inextricably linked.

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 The current way of life emphasizes irregularity, everything is done when it happens, even though the well-being of the body is based on the balance and co-ordination of vital functions.

Tuomilehto emphasizes that all research data on the relationship between sleep and eating is consistent and parallel, in contrast to many other studies where interpretations and conclusions can differ greatly.

- It is known that sleep is an important factor in regulating our nutritional behavior as well as our hormonal functions.

Sleep deprivation and poor quality sleep affect the action of appetite-regulating hormones.

With poor sleep, the production of the appetite-suppressing hormone leptin is reduced.

Leptin regulates food intake and energy metabolism.

At the same time, the production of ghrelin, which regulates hunger, is strengthened and the need to eat arises.

- There will be strong peaks of hunger and cravings, especially in the evenings.

"Awakening desire to lift the mood quickly"

The tip of the mindsets and hunger spikes can be folded with a regular eating rhythm.

- The spikes are an innate physiology, so they still come, but much milder, making them easier to resist and avoid.

During the winter months, the mind often makes even the heaviest food usual.

- Warm nutrition is desired because maintaining body temperature affects appetite.

The craving for delicacies can also stem from the need to feel better.

- The state of alertness is naturally at its lowest in the afternoons as well as in the mornings.

Then there is a desire to quickly lift the mood and it is suitable to eat carbohydrate, often sweet or salty.

A carbohydrate-rich diet increases the concentration of the neurotransmitter serotonin.

Sunlight affects the production of serotonin, and serotonin decreases as the light decreases.

Low serotonin levels have been found to trigger sweet hunger.

"Everything is done when it happens"

The disadvantages of camouflage can be patched up and smoothed out with regular lifestyles.

- Most of us don't.

The current way of life emphasizes irregularity, everything is done when it happens, even though the well-being of the body is based on the balance and co-ordination of vital functions.

Tuomilehto is pleased that we have begun to understand the combined effect of nutrition and sleep on bodily functions.

He recalls that even five years ago, even esteemed nutritionists did not list sleeping as their most important tips.

- Nothing was said about the dream, even though there was already a lot of research evidence.

Of course, more and more information has been added and now we also know how to take it into account, Tuomilehto states.

7 ways to curb the craving for delicacies:

1. Adequate amount of sleep

The majority of us sleep less than we need and are in constant sleep deprivation.

Sleep deprivation emphasizes the feeling of hunger by exposing to snacking as well as eating carbohydrate-rich foods.

2. Regular circadian rhythm

The regular rhythm of everyday life can be synchronized through eating and sleeping.

Dining intervals should not be stretched too long and you should not go hungry to sleep.

3. Varied and nutritious food

Eating nutritious food in a variety of ways relieves uncontrollable cravings, especially sweet cravings.

4. Utilizing daylight

Staying in natural light synchronizes the inner clock to stay in a natural rhythm.

5. Movement, even light

In the dark, the best time to exercise is in daylight.

Exercise does not have to be sweat exercise, a walk is enough to raise the level of alertness.

6. Using a bright light bulb

The daytime rhythm starts in the morning despite the lack of natural light.

Improves alertness and evens out the circadian rhythm.

7. Avoiding evening work

Working too close to bed activates brain activity, resulting in poor sleep quality.

Poor quality sleep increases appetite.

Expert: Sleep Doctor Henri Tuomilehto / Coronaria Uniklinikka