A small study has revealed that the body craves for more food when it doesn’t get enough sleep.

(Mirror Daily, United States) – No matter what coffee shops or energy drink commercials might tell you, sleep is not overrated. In fact, according to the researchers, if you sleep less you will eat more. So those extra pounds you were trying to explain are, in effect, caused by the lack of a proper snooze.

If you sleep less you will eat more, in consequence, you will get fatter, and/or you will develop additional health problems that are related to an unhealthy food regime.

A new study that was published in the Sleep journal analyzed the link between a lack of Zs and the munchies. It seems that everything is chemically connected, and our body makes us want to eat more in a desperate attempt to balance the chemicals in our organisms.

In order to gather more information on the chemical imbalances that take place in our bodies when we don’t get enough rest, the researchers collected a sample of 14 volunteers.

They divided the participants into two groups. The first would sleep roughly seven hours and a half per night in a session, and the others only a bit over four hours.

In the next session, the sleeping hours were changed between the patients.

While they were involved in the experiment, the volunteers received three regular meals at nine am two pm and seven pm.

The food was carefully chosen in order for the candidates to receive all of the calories they required in a day.

At the end of every session, the participants were allowed to eat as much as they wanted.

The researchers discovered that the individuals who were in the four-hour sleep group usually ate roughly 300 calories more than those from the seven-hour group.

In order to explain this crave, the researchers took blood samples and analyzed the chemicals levels present in each group.

It seems that the ones that slept less had higher levels of ghrelin (also known as lenomorelin, or the hunger hormone) while the others presented increased rates of leptin (or the satiety hormone).

Furthermore, the members of the sleep-deprived group presented themselves with significant levels of endocannabinoids.

It was already proven in previous studies that the endocannabinoid system is activated by marijuana. This system which is typical for mammals gives a false impression of hunger to the affected individuals, making them crave for fatty or sweet foods.

What is more interesting is that the sleep-deprived volunteers presented traces of endocannabinoids even in the next afternoon, which means that if you sleep less, you will eat more for a longer period of time.

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