As any adult can tell you there are many advantages to getting a good night’s rest. We tend to be less grumpy, have more energy, and can think better at work or in school. There is a benefit that you might not have known about though.
Sleeping for less than the recommended time can also contribute to obesity. Researchers found different areas were activated in the brain when presented with unhealthy food in a person who was under-rested. “A self-reported desire for sweet and salty food increases after a period of sleep deprivation.”
So it seems it is not just that we are lazy when we are tired and would rather pop open a bag of chips than cut up a few carrots; but, that our brains actually tell us we would prefer the unhealthy food.
“The results suggest that, under restricted sleep, individuals will find unhealthy foods highly salient and rewarding, which may lead to greater consumption of those foods.”