CINCINNATI - Who hasn't headed for the refrigerator or the pantry when you're up late into the wee hours of the night? For some reason the cookies or chips can look so much more appetizing later in the evening.
Good news, there's a reason you may go for the junk food at night. New research shows that lack of sleep could make junk food more appealing.
A study conducted by scientists at Columbia University showed people pictures of unhealthy snack food. The people who had restricted sleep had more activity in the reward center of their brain compared to those who were getting a full night's rest.
"The same brain regions activated when unhealthy foods were presented were not involved when we presented healthy foods," said study author Dr. Marie-Pierre St-Onge, an assistant professor at Columbia University's Institute of Human Nutrition.
This study is being presented at SLEEP 2012 the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.
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