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Losing the Battle Against the Munchies? A New Study Says You Should Get More Rest.

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Got a case of the munchies?

jon.harol |

Put down the Oreos and get some sleep.

According to new research, sleep deprivation can spur an increased appetite similar to the “marijuana munchies.”  

In the study, which involved 14 healthy men and women in their 20s, all participants came into the lab for a pair of four-day visits. On the first visit, they spent 8.5 hours a night in bed and slept an average of 7.5 hours. On the second, they were only allowed to stay in bed for 4.5 hours a night. As a result, they averaged just over four hours of sleep.

Related: Why Entrepreneurs Should Never Feel Guilty for Sleeping

When researchers did blood tests after the second visit (when participants were sleep deprived), they found elevated levels of a chemical signal believed to impact appetite. Marijuana has a similar effect on this chemical, hence the term “marijuana munchies.”

What’s more, when participants were sleep deprived, they reported feeling hungrier throughout the day and, when presented with unhealthy foods, ate significantly more than when they were well rested.

It’s a fascinating study, one that helps us better understand the complex relationship between sleep, hunger and weight control.

Related: 10 Healthy Snacks to Curb Your Appetite

That said, it doesn’t take a room full of scientists to determine that the only thing potheads do better than munch on Cheetos is sleep.

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