As we reported previously, research has tied inadequate sleep to greater cravings for junk food. According to intriguing new research, not getting enough sleep might induce you to shop so as to satisfy those cravings.
This Swedish study, published in the journal Obesity, investigated if lack of sleep affects food purchases. If so, it could be one way lack of sleep contributes to obesity.
Fourteen men with normal sleep patterns spent two nights in a lab, separated by four weeks. On one night the men slept as usual, but on the other night they were kept awake.
The next morning they were fed a breakfast containing 2720 kilojoules before they went on a mock shopping trip. They were told to shop as if they had no food at home and had to stock up for the next several days. The men were given the equivalent of US$50 and told to chose from a list of 40 foods.
When the men were sleep-deprived, they bought nine per cent more kilojoules and 18 per cent more food by weight, compared to when they had a good night’s sleep.
The researchers noted that the food purchased while sleep-deprived would last for several days and would therefore affect the men’s diets for a while. “Our finding provides a strong rationale for suggesting that patients with concerns regarding caloric intake and weight gain maintain a healthy, normal sleep schedule,” the researchers wrote.