How lack of sleep awakens the desire for Snacks

Lack of sleep is an annoying issue: during the day, you want time for a NAP, the waning concentration, the mood is clouded. In addition, lack of sleep also seems to affect appetite and satiety – which could explain why with dwindling night’s sleep increases the risk for Obesity.

In various studies, researchers have smaller groups of participants sleep in and early out of bed, hunted, and investigated, which hormones in your blood to circulate, which regions of the brain at the sight of food be active and for what types of food you choose, if you give them the choice.

The results can be summarized as:

  • In men, deficiency increases due to sleep, the concentration of the appetite hormone Ghrelin, and stimulating. In women, something else is happening: The amount of satiety-promoting hormone, GLP-1 decreases. Both would have a similar effect – namely, the desire for food to boost.
  • Select participants after a short or completely missing a night of sleep food is the so-called Amygdala in the brain is particularly active. It is one of the areas of the Brain that control feelings and urges.

A research team led by Julia Rihm of the University of Cologne has examined how changes in hormone levels, or brain activities, the selection of food affect after a sleepless night.

To do this, they invited 32 healthy, non-obese men to a dinner. The half was then to go home and sleep it off – the other half had to stand guard under the supervision of the night. To be repeated at a later time in the Experiment and the other half had to stay awake.

Chocolate bar or a baseball cap?

On the Morning of the actual Tests, the team of researchers in the “Journal of Neuroscience” reports followed. The researchers determined the Ghrelin content of the blood. On the other hand, the subjects participated in a Bidding game in which they were able to amounts of Snacks, for example chocolate bars, as well as various little things, such as baseball caps,. For a part of this game, the participants in a MRI-device, the measure of brain activity.

The Result:

One of the participants had made it through the night, the Amygdala is significantly more active, while he busied himself with food. This was also the case for the so-called Hypothalamus. Both ensure that food is perceived as a greater reward. The sleep-deprived participants placed more money on Snacks than the well-rested.

Although Ghrelin values were after the sleepless night in the section above. According to the calculations of the researchers, these related but not significantly with a greater willingness to invest money in Snacks: The connection was marked to be weak. Also the feeling of Hunger, therefore, was not decisive, because of this difference between the two groups.

Is clarified so comprehensively, such as lack of sleep and Obesity related? Not quite.

So it seems – just as an example – to give gene variants, which influence both the sleep as well as the sugar metabolism and the Emergence of type 2 Diabetes. The results of the current study may be a exciting piece of the puzzle, but sleeping and eating are for sure linked in any other way.