Hormones Highlight: Ghrelin & Leptin + Salty Weekend Recap

Hey friends! Happy Monday to you. :)

How did your weekend go? I was absent from the technology/Internet world for the whole weekend as I played with my in-law family who was in town.

Salty Weekend Recap

We picnicked.

{Hi. I eat watermelon pieces the size of my face in the sun to get as much sun as possible -because I work during the day during the week. Don’t judge.}

We swam in the Great Salt Lake (11% salt). And floated atop the water because of that water:salt ratio!


{You guys, I floated without doing anything! It was crazy cool.}

We were so hot and salty, so we got slurpees.

We ate pizza and watched a movie.

{chicken and spinach}

We went to church and took naps.

And we enjoyed a nice dinner with ice cream/brownies for dessert.

{The right ratio is 2:1; ice cream to brownie. For sure.}

It was an awesome weekend with family!

{As an Half IronMan check in: On Saturday morning I also taught a BodyPUMP class after running 8 miles, and then rode 10.5 miles after teaching the class.}


Hormones Highlight: Ghrelin and Leptin

So you all know I am a sleep lover, right? I have always enjoyed my sleep-even when I was younger. I remember falling asleep at sleepovers, camps, and camping wayyyy before anyone else.

Yes, I am that girl

When I don’t get enough sleep I am cranky, mean, moody, hangry, and a host of other unsightly things. Plus I tend to get sick quicker and I generally am not as peppy as I usually am. (Here are some tips to improving sleep.)

My husband knows I need sleep, my sisters know I need sleep, and my friends know I need sleep. {My roommates used to make fun of me in college because I would often hit the sack at 10 p.m…….party animal.}

Ghrelin is a hormone that is produced by the lining of the stomach, and its main function is to promote hunger. Ghrelin levels are high before eating, and fall after eating.

Leptin, produced by adipose tissue, is the counterpart hormone to Ghrelin. The Leptin hormone circulates proportional to fat tissue (the more fat have, the more there is), and is responsible for promoting satiation when eating meals.

You want these hormones to function properly! If they are imbalanced in any way, you could overeat without the ‘normal’ feeling of fullness and satiation. If Ghrelin levels, for example, did not fall after eating a meal, it would be possible to keep eating and eating without ever feeling stuffed!

 “A large intake of calories triggers a leptin response that reduces hunger, thereby preventing an overload of the inflammatory response induced by caloric intake. It has been theorized that, in obese individuals, the leptin response to caloric intake is blunted due to chronic, low-grade hyperleptinemia depressing the signal-to-noise ratio such that acute leptin responses have less of a physiological effect on the body.” (source)

Scientists have shown that sleep, depression, and stress can wreak havoc on the balance of these hormones. And furthermore, there is evidence to show that obesity has been linked to low levels of Leptin and too few hours of sleep.


Ready to go to bed yet??? 😉

Seriously though, I know it’s important to get your to-do list done, to get in a hard workout, and to have fun, but sleep is NOT something to skimp on or cut down on.

Put your health first by getting enough sleep (7-9 for adults is best), and everything (hormones such as Leptin and Ghrelin, weight loss, eating right, etc.) will fall into place.


Well, I am off to teach BodyPUMP, go to work, and then I’ll teach Zumba tonight. Busy day ahead!

Have an AWESOME day!

What have YOU heard about these nifty hormones?? What happens to YOU when YOU don’t sleep enough?? What did YOU do this past weekend??

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  1. Wow, that’s pretty interesting stuff!
    I had heard of sleep affecting someone’s appetite, but didn’t know exactly how it happened or anything. I’m actually pretty okay if I get at least 6 hours of sleep a night (I always tell everyone that I’ll sleep when I’m dead! haha) but a few consecutive nights of not-so-great sleep can really wreak some havoc!

  2. I feel physically ill if I don’t get enough sleep! We went to the Cards game on Friday night and I hung with a girlfriend and her baby on Saturday! :)

  3. caroline says:

    If I don’t get enough sleep…. I get mean. =( This weekend I traveled and hung out with the husband. It rocked.

  4. That lake looks awesome! I like your ice cream to brownie ratio- you got it down pat. Thanks for that educational lesson 😉 I’ve been dealing with some issues and mild depression is one of them- which could probably explain how at times my body does not respond after I’ve eaten huge amounts of food- like my body doesn’t register it till it’s too late. It’s good because I am a eating machine 😉 But bad because it’s not the most ladylike or healthiest hahah :) But once I get some more happiness in my life everything else should work itself out I hope.

  5. i definitely need a good 8 hours of sleep each night. i WISH i could be one of those people that only had to get like 6 hours and be good to go, but nope, it doesn’t cut it for me. i feel lethargic, crabby, and just not myself when i don’t get enough sleep.

  6. If I do not get at least 7 horus of sleep a night, I suffer from a severe heaache and am not a fun person to be around. While, I had never heard of Ghrelin & Leptin before your post, it makes sense and really stresses the importance of a good night’s sleep. This past weekend, my husband and I took our daughter to the beach for a few days. We played in the waves, built sandcastles, and went out for pizza and frozen yogurt!

  7. I need major amounts of sleep as well. I’ve also heard how a lack of sleep tends to lead to overeating or oversnacking. That all makes so much sense. Thank you for sharing.

    The Great Salt Lake looks like an amazing outing. Fun!

  8. Oh goodness, sleep is pretty much my best friend.

    If I don’t get enough of it (ahem, last Saturday night) I’m moody, tired, likely to fall asleep within 20 minutes of starting a movie….and snacky. Like, dive-headfirst-into-my-chocolate-stash snacky.

    Less than 8 hours? Unacceptable for me.

  9. Glad you enjoyed your weekend, looks like fun!!
    That is super interesting! I definitely have been lacking on the sleep lately, only getting about 4-6 each night. I’ve been trying to improve on this, but I’ve never in my whole life been able to sleep very long. Its a little frustrating because I notice my body falls victim to stressful situations fairly easy because of this.

  10. Danielle says:

    Ohhh what an awesome you had! that trip looks like it was so much fun, and I love eating watermelon out in the hot sun, especially when you’re by water. I’ve heard about leptin and grehlin, but didn’t realize how much our sleep is affected by them! I know that after 3 or 4 days of serious training my body needs a reboot and I’ll try and get in a long night of sleep. Ideally I will sleep 8 hours per night, but if I can’t then I’ll need one night where I get in a TON of sleep. I love sleep, I feel like my body is restoring and recovering while I’m in dreamland, haha!
    My weekend buzzzzzzzyyyy. Birthday parties, training (plus a bummer shoulder injury so couldn’t swim on Saturday) 3 classes of hot yoga, some running, and then I rode 62 miles yesterday at a charity ride in the Katy Flatlands. It was thankfully FLAT and so much easier than riding 52 miles in the Hill Country. Ohhh how I dread those hills, lol. I as so tired from the weekend that I missed my run and spin class this morning, and took and unplanned rest day. I guess my hormones are happy! :)
    I’m really going to try and take it easy this week… really!

    • WOW. What a weekend!! NICE job on the long ride! Sorry to hear about your shoulder injury :( Good thing you took a rest day!

  11. Danielle says:

    oops, meant to say “awesome WEEKEND” 😀

  12. When I don’t sleep enough, I am a BEAR! I growl and frown and then eat to make myself feel better. Yes, I know about the link between hunger and sleep and try hard to get my 8-9 hours every night!

    Thanks for the great explanation!

  13. Haha Ashley and I were talking about this the other day, we’re both serious 8 hour people! Although I know I still don’t get enough because I wake up several times during the night, about every 2 hours… I literally cannot remember the last time I actually slept through the night!

  14. so interesting! I try to get at least 7 hours per night but i prefer 8-9 hours, its just not always possible 😉 I’m so blah when I dont get enough sleep!

  15. I’m convinced you are a genius. I have NEVER heard of those hormones. Thanks for schooling me and reminding me to TURN OFF GAME OF THRONES and go to bed!!

    PS – did I ever tell you my sister lives in SLC? She’s awesome and has the cutest kids ever. You should meet her. And hang out with me when I come visit!! :-)

  16. When I don’t get enough sleep I have trouble remembering things, and I am more likely to feel pain after I teach. I love research and info, so really enjoyed the info about ghrelin and leptin. The association with depression and obesity is extremely interesting, as this info didn’t exist when I was in grad school studying counseling. The biological aspects of depression were only starting to be seriously considered by mainstream researchers.


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