Sleep Disorders Intensify the Urge to Eat Junk Food

"Sleep Disorders Intensify the Urge to Eat Junk Food"

People who are having trouble falling asleep often tend to eat more junk food.

BEACON TRANSCRIPT – Unfortunately, few of us can resist a late midnight snack, especially if the Zs aren’t coming our way. According to a new study, sleep disorders intensify the urge to eat junk food such as crisps and biscuits.

A new study suggests that there may be a direct correlation between sleeping disorders, such as insomnia, and poor eating habits. More specifically, a team of medical researchers from the University of California has discovered that individuals who have trouble falling asleep are more inclined to consume junk food such as chips and or biscuits.

Furthermore, this new study suggests that this midnight binge is very similar, in terms of brain chemistry, to the munchies, a state induced by the consumption of marijuana.

Doctor Eric Hanlon, declared that the whole purpose of the study was to identify if sleep restrictions can influence the apparition of the so-called hedonistic eating. According to the MRI scans which were taken after the experiment, all the participants exhibited high levels of 2-G, a brain chemical that also resurfaces in the brains of those who consume cannabinoids.

The 2-G chemical compound is usually suppressed during our sleep. But the scientists from the University of California have discovered that if the sleep pattern is disrupted, the brain chemistry will be altered in the sense that our minds will produce more 2-G.

According to the results of the experiment, the participants who were found to have higher levels of 2-G reported that they are famished and expressed their urge to consume more junk food.

To see how sleep can influence the brain chemical, the team did everything they could to ensure that the participants don’t get a good night’s sleep. The experiment extended over four days.

At the end of the fourth day, the participants were presented with snacks. The team noted that each of them would stuff their faces with twice the amount of snacks after a troubled sleep. Doctor Hanlon also said that regarding energy, the body needs approximately 17 calories for each hour spent awake.

That means that the body needs roughly 70 calories to make up for four hours of staying awake. Unfortunately, when the patients were presented with snacks to appease their munchies, they consumed approximately 300 calories.

Hanlon said that this, in time, could lead to weight issues, and we know what a few extra pounds can to our body.

A team of medical researcher from the University of California had discovered that sleep disorders intensify the urge to eat junk food, regardless of when the participants had their lunch.