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Study Shows That Sleep Deprivation Impairs Brain’s Ability To Select Healthy Foods

June 10, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Lack of sleep damages the areas of the brain where decisions are made about eating healthy or unhealthy foods, a University of California researcher reports. Graduate student Stephanie Greer says her findings may explain the connection between sleep deprivation and obesity. For the study, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to examine the brains of 23 healthy adults after a normal night’s sleep and a night of sleep deprivation. Scan results showed that sleep deprivation significantly impaired brain activity in the frontal lobe, a region critical for controlling behavior and making complex choices, such as the selection of food to eat.
Stephanie Greer, "Sleep deprivation disrupts human brain reactivity in response to food desire", Presentation, annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, June 10, 2012, © Associated Professional Sleep Societies
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