Don’t overdo it: Tiredness, sleep deprivation makes you want to eat junk food

Tiredness and not being able to sleep enough makes people crave for high-fat food and results in weight gain, say researchers.

health and fitness Updated: Apr 10, 2017 13:33 IST
ANI, London
Junk Food,Junk Food Craving,Tired
If you want to stop reaching for high-calorie every day, perhaps a few extra hours of sleep is all you need.(Shutterstock)

Have you ever wondered why you want to eat unhealthy every time you feel tried? We may now have an answer.

Researchers at Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University in Chicago, recently presented their results of a study looking into the effects of sleep deprivation upon high-calorific food consumption at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society’s annual meeting in San Francisco, reports Science News.

Participants were allocated different amounts of sleep, eight hours or four hours, and then their reaction to smells of high-calorific foods were tested.

Participants slept for both lengths of time, separated by a week of normal sleep. On the day after they either had full or partial sleep, participants rated the pleasantness and intensity of sweet and savoury high-calorific food smells such as crisps and cinnamon rolls. They were then asked to rate the smell of non-foods like fir trees.

Researchers found that those who were sleep-deprived had “specifically enhanced” brain activity to the food smells compared to when they had a good night’s sleep.

The experiment supports the long-held association between sleep deprivation and excessive eating and weight gain. So, if you want to stop reaching for the chocolate every day, perhaps a few extra hours of sleep is all you need.

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First Published: Apr 10, 2017 10:29 IST