Participants were asked to select their portion sizes of seven meals and six snack items in both states. “After a night of total sleep loss, sleep-deprived males chose greater portion sizes of the energy-dense foods,” says lead researcher Pleunie Hogenkamp. “Interestingly, they did so before and after breakfast, suggesting that sleep deprivation enhances food intake regardless of satiety.”
The Swedish study builds on a steady stream of research that shows a link between sleep-deprivation and obesity. Another study, published last year, also found that the sight of junk food following a sleepless night triggers the brain’s reward centres, making the foods seem more tempting.