Lack of sleep gives you the munchies

Do you ever wonder why you are hungrier than usual if you do not sleep well? Researchers from the University of Chicago say they have found a reason. Their study shows that a lack of sleep makes people hungrier the next day. Sleeplessness releases chemicals in the brain that increase the pleasure of eating, and this makes us eat more, especially food that is high in calories. The researchers found that people who lack sleep crave snacks more than healthier foods. People in the study who did not get enough sleep ate up to twice as much fat content as when they slept for eight hours.

The study was conducted on 14 volunteers in their twenties. Researchers created two different situations. In one, the volunteers spent 8.5 hours in bed each night and averaged 7.5 hours of sleep. In the other, they spent just 4.5 hours in bed and averaged 4.2 hours sleep. In the first situation, the subjects ate three meals a day. However, in the second situation, the volunteers could not resist "highly palatable, rewarding snacks". This happened just 90 minutes after they had eaten a meal that gave them 90 per cent of their required daily calories.