Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects Dopaminergic neurons, which are nerve cells in the brain responsible for producing dopamine. Dopamine functions as a neurotransmitter...
Are you aware that having a sleepless night could make it hard for you to resist pastries? Maureen Salamon with HealthDay Reporter gives us more information on the discovery. The new study does suggest that even one night of lost sleep can increase the desirability of junk foods. An increase in ghreline (the hunger hormone) isn’t the culprit. This has been implicated in prior research that focuses on sleep deprivation and poor food choices. The idea that sleep deprivation leads to poor food choice due to a hormonal dysregulation is too simple, said study author Jan Peters who is a professor of biological psychology at University of Cologne in Germany.
Many previous studies have indicated that reduced sleep increases obesity risk and people tend to get less and less sleep. These new results show a neural mechanism that may contribute to the association between reduced sleep and weight gain. Currently about 1 in 3 American adults don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Less than the 7 hours each night recommended is linked to increased risks for obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke, as reported by the CDC.
In this study 32 healthy, young, nonsmoking men of normal weight were included. Blood samples were taken and they performed functional MRIs after they had a normal night of sleep at home and a night where they were kept awake in a lab. The men ate a standardized dinner both nights. In the morning they chose between snack food and trinkets during a decision making task. They were willing to spend more money on food items only after having a night of sleep deprivation. Their self-rated hunger levels were similar after both nights. After a night of lost sleep, their brain images showed increased activity in a circuit between the amygdala and hypothalamus, that is involved in food intake, which suggests that sleep loss increased the desirability of food compared to non-food rewards.
The director of university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis, Connie Diekman, wasn’t involved in the research but said she was somewhat surprised that changing hormone levels weren’t shown to be linked to participants’ poor food choice and that the study wasn’t able to determine cause and effect.
Even though the study had limitation, it did provide the message that it might help people to realize that quantity and quality of sleep is key to your health and the behaviors chosen. The outcome of the study does place some responsibility in people’s laps as opposed to a metabolic trigger allowing people to say it’s not their fault.
This study can be found in the Journal of Neuroscience.
Dr Fredda Branyon