Here’s another reason to get a good night’s sleep — it could help keep you fit. A new study suggests that poor sleep habits may affect your risk of becoming overweight because one night of sleep loss activates a specific brain region that contributes to a person’s sensation of appetite more than one night of normal sleep.
Researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden used magnetic imaging (fMRI) to study the brains of 12 normal-weight men while they looked at images of foods. After comparing the results after a night of normal sleep to those after a night without sleep, they found that the men with total sleep loss “showed a high level of activation in an area of the brain that is involved in a desire to eat.”
The authors say these findings suggest that sleeping about eight hours a night may be important in order to maintain a healthy body weight.