A Crappy Night’s Sleep Triggers Binge Eating

study binge eating sleep connected

As your co-workers can attest, a crummy night of sleep is awful for your mood. Turns out, not getting enough sack time might also be horrible for your gut.

Researchers at UC Berkely scanned the brains of 23 healthy young adults after both a normal and crappy night of sleep. After a sleepless night what stood out in the subjects’ brains was a notably diminished activity in their frontal lobe — the area of your noodle that manages complex decision-making. At the same time, there was an increased activity in the areas of the brain that respond to rewards. According to the eggheads, when the subjects were deprived of sleep they veered toward eating unhealthy snacks and high-calorie foods, creating a tentative link between obesity and sleep deprivation. A separate study published in the journal Obesity monitored subjects after a sleepless night and recorded what each subject spent on chow. The day after the groggy-eyed people saw a boost in spending on food.

To get a better night’s sleep, experts recommend shutting down electronic devices up to an hour before you hit the sack, creating a dark, comfortable environment, and using your bed for only sleep and sex. No reading, snacking, pillow fights, or building forts to keep monsters away. Don’t worry, you can still keep your Spidery-Man bedsheets.

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