Skip Nav
GIF Exercises
Take 2 Minutes to Flatten Your Abs With This Ultrafast Workout
Wellness
13 Things to Do Every Morning to Stay Healthy and Energized
What Is Good Running Form?
Beginner Fitness Tips
The Biggest Mistake People Make When They Run, According to a Running Coach

Lack of Sleep Makes You Crave Junk Food, Study Says

Further Proof That Sleep Is Essential For Weight Loss

You've probably been there before: you stay up all night cramming for an exam or finishing a work deadline and reach for a pile of junk food to fuel you through the night. A new study shows that you're not alone — lack of sleep causes changes in your brain's reward and rational thinking centers to make it harder to resist fatty, high-calorie foods after dark.

The small study, published in the journal Nature Communications, measured the brain activity of 23 young adults when shown fatty foods like pizza and doughnuts, as well as when they were shown healthy foods like carrots and apples. The more sleep-deprived the participants, the more their brains' reward centers lit up when shown the high-calorie foods. The study also found that lack of sleep led to impaired decision-making activity in another region of the brain.

It's a twofold assault to your weight-loss goals — you crave more high-calorie foods while simultaneously lacking the rational decision-making skills to resist them — which is further evidence that getting seven to nine hours of sleep a night should be part of your weight-loss plan. A previous study found that sleepy people end up eating about 300 calories more throughout the day, so if you want to eat right, rest up.

Image Source: Thinkstock
From Our Partners
Postpartum Weight-Loss Story
20-Pound Weight Loss
Nutritional Ketosis vs. Starvation Ketosis
Scientists Discover Cause of PCOS
The Reason Your Child Can't Sleep
How Your Brain Affects Weight Loss
Can Too Much Exercise Weaken Your Immune System?
Sleep Disorders in Women
How to Figure Out Your Goal Weight
60-Pound Weight-Loss Transformation | Sara Kadlec
Sleeping Tips For Newborns
Is the Mediterranean Diet Good For Gut Health?
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds