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Lack of Sleep Affects Hunger Levels

April 29, 2013


We’ve all been told that it is not a good idea to go to a supermarket when hungry, but now research that is being done in America shows us that we might not want to go shopping for groceries when we are tired as well. In fact, scientists have found a very strong link between the lack of sleep and an increased feeling of hunger. 

The US study conducted research on 12 individuals who were asked to look at images of foods. The images consisted of both high a low calorie foods and were shown to the subjects after a good night’s sleep and then again after a night of no sleep at all. What the scientists found was that after being kept awake all night the subject’s brain scans showed an increase in activity in the areas that control hunger. However, even though there was an increase in the brain activity that caused the feeling of hunger to occur, there was no change in the blood glucose levels. Because of this it was concluded that a lack of sleep plus seeing images of food will give a person a false sense of hunger.

Although we are still trying to figure out the exact reason for our need to sleep, we are certainly learning quite a lot about what happens if we don’t get enough sleep. The fact that lack of sleep effects both our physical and emotional well shows you just how important owning a good bed is. 

Would you like to learn more about this study? Then please go to the Scientific American Podcast for more information.


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