Lack of sleep gives the “munchies” like smoking pot

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Learn the life-changing benefits of a good night’s sleep (click pic).

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A new study is claiming that the sleep-deprived crave “munchies” such as sugary snacks and salty chips just as they would if they had smoked pot.  Turns out, missing out on sleep produces brain chemicals similar to those found in marijuana which can make you more likely to eat high calorie foods with twice as much fat, according to scientists from the University of Chicago.

The study consisted of 14 men and women, all in their 20’s, who were split into two groups that spent eight nights in the university’s research center. One group was allowed 7.5 hours of sleep per night while the other only 4 hours and 11 minutes. The researchers found those who had several nights of poor sleep had a tendency to eat about 300 more calories a day, even when they were full, than those who were fully rested.

“We know that marijuana activates the endocannabinoid system and causes people to overeat when they are not hungry, and they normally eat yummy sweet and fatty foods. Sleep restriction may cause overeating by acting in the same manner,” said Erin Hanlon, the lead researcher.

What was discovered in this study is sleeping less than 6 hours per night can increase the possibility of obesity because the lack of sleep cause the cravings to kick in, where instead, if you sleep 7-8 hours per night, those cravings are eliminated.

-NY Times report

Learn more about the importance of sleep and your health here:

8 life-changing benefits of a good night’s sleep

Sleep or exercise? Which one takes priority?