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This is why you crave bad food when you're tired, says science

Prima logo Prima 06/04/2017 Francesca Rice
This is why you crave bad food when you're tired, says science © caracterdesign / Getty This is why you crave bad food when you're tired, says science

If your healthy eating ambitions go straight out the window as soon as you're just a little bit tired or cranky, then we have good news: it's not your fault.

*Bites into chocolate digestive*

The secret to resisting those junk food? Try and get a bit more sleep, reports The Independent.

That's because people who are tired have an 'enhanced' response to bad foods, according to researchers from Northwestern University.

After looking into effects of sleep deprivation upon high-calorie food consumption, the team concluded that we find the smell of delicious yet naughty treats more appealing when we're exhausted. Hence our inability to stay away.

In the study, which was presented at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society's annual meeting, participants were allocated different amounts of sleep (either eight hours' kip or four), and then had their reaction to the smells of high-calorie foods tested.

No big shock here, but the tired volunteers experienced 'specifically enhanced' brain activity to the food smells, compared to when they were well rested.

This supports previous studies that have shown a link between sleep deprivation and weight gain.

So, now we know what to do if we want to stop scoffing junk!

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