Lack of Sleep Can Boost Junk Food Cravings

George Severson

Lack of Sleep Can Boost Junk Food Cravings

CREATED Jun. 11, 2012

PALM DESERT - Not getting enough sleep could kick start a craving for junk food. A new study presented at the Sleep 2012 Conference looked at the brain scans of 25 adults. Some of the study participants were restricted to four hours of sleep a night for five nights. The others were allowed to sleep up to nine hours.

Researchers found the reward center of the brain was activated when people who were sleep deprived saw pictures of unhealthy food, but not when they saw healthy food. The study also found the sleep deprived adults ate more fatty foods during the trial.

Sleep deprivation can do more than add pounds to your waistline, health experts warn. It may also increase your risk for stroke.