Sleepyheads prefer junk food

A night without sleep changes the brain and how appetizing people find high-calorie foods

By Janet Raloff, 11:21 AM August 19, 2013

Pulling an all-nighter alters the brain and lowers a person’s willpower to eat right, a new study finds. High-calorie foods such as doughnuts looked more appealing to volunteers after losing just one night of sleep. Credit: iStockphoto

Pulling an all-nighter does a number on the brain, a new study finds. People who lost a night of sleep also lost much of their willpower to eat right. This connection could help explain why people who don’t regularly get a good night’s sleep are more likely to be obese.

For the new study, scientists recruited 23 adult volunteers to take part in tests at a sleep lab on two separate nights. On night one, the men and women were encouraged to sleep normally. On the other night (at least one w...

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