We live in a topsy turvy world where spray tanning gives you cancer and Frappucinos may soon be illegal. Can anyone really be blamed for gorging on bacon sundae concoctions? Well, according to a new study from Columbia University, there's an even better scapegoat for that crushing need for junk food: sleeplessness.
The new study found that the brain areas of people who hadn't slept lit up at the sight of junk food. "We found regions associated with reward and motivation—those that are involved with addiction and pleasure-seeking behaviors—were more strongly activated in the short-sleep phase," said Marie-Pierre St-Onge, a research associate at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center and an assistant professor at Columbia University's Institute of Human Nutrition in New York City.
A second study out of the University of California, Berkeley found similar results—including significantly impaired activity in an area in the frontal lobe of the brain that helps control behavior and make complex choices. But ironically, complex choices is EXACTLY what leads us to eating nightmare burgers and douche burgers.