O lack of sleep increase the I wish for junk food and if lack of rest is maintained, the risk of obesity, indicated a study published today by the Journal of Neuroscience.
The research, conducted by scientists at the University of Cologne (Germany) Julia Rihm and Jan Peters, combines behavioral economics with endocrinology.
"Our data bring us closer to understanding the mechanism of how, as a lack of sleep varies our food assessment"explained Peters.
Specifically, the study examines how fatigue can trigger areas of the brain related to appetite and hormones that tell us when we are hungry.
The researchers recruited 32 young men between the ages of 19 and 33 and gave them the same dinner of noodles and venison, along with apple and strawberry yogurt.
Participants were then divided into two groups: one went home with a device that records the hours of sleep, and the rest stayed in the lab all night with various activities not to fall asleep.
The next day, they were tested for blood sugar and hormones that bind the stress to appetite. In addition, they were gifted with a game in which different images of junk food such as chocolates and objects that can not be eaten as hats, so they could assess how much they would be willing to pay for them on a scale between zero and three euros. .
The results showed that lack of sleep increased the subjective value of food in relation to non-food items, and neural images revealed greater activity in a circuit involving the amygdala, which controls reward-seeking behavior, and the appetite-induced hypothalamus .
"These data suggest a direct connection of lack of rest with overeating and the consequent risk of obesity," said Rihm.