A study has found that people who have fewer hours of sleep a night have higher levels of a molecule which stimulates appetite.Scientists in America say participants who had only four-and-a-half hours of sleep had higher daytime levels of the 2-AG molecule which controls the pleasurable aspects of eating.
It is similar to the narcotic content of marijuana, which is said to give users the “munchies” making them want to eat more.
Dr Erin Hanlon, of Chicago University, said: “Past experimental studies show that sleep restriction increases hunger and appetite.
“The mechanism for overeating after inadequate sleep may be an elevation in this endocannabinoid molecule, called 2-arachidonoylglycerol, or 2-AG.”
The study focused on nine people with an average age of 23 who spent a total of twelve nights in a sleep lab.
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