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New Reasearch Reveals Reason Behind Feeling Hungry When Tired [VIDEO]

Update Date: Apr 04, 2017 07:14 AM EDT

There is a scientific reason behind feeling hungry when tired which then easily leads to weight gain, according to a recent study. The finding identifies the countermeasures that can be done to remedy the ravenous craving.

When a person is feeling tired, they are more likely to make decisions that are not so smart. That means they tend to grab junk foods more when they are exhausted compared to when they are energized and well-rested.

Apparently, the reason behind the craving is that the smell of food becomes more enticing when the brain is sleep-deprived. The study detailed their finding that backs up many studies' data on the correlation between sleep deprivation and weight gain during the annual meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society held in San Francisco on Mar. 27.

Heightened Sensitivity of Smell

The scientists observed how participants respond to the smell of food, like cinnamon rolls and potato chips, and the smell of inedible things, like a fir tree. The experiment was conducted when the volunteers had only four hours of sleep, according to the Science News.

After a few weeks, the experiment was repeated. But this time, the participants had a full eight hours of bedtime. During both times, the researchers fully controlled the participants' food intake.

They were able to deduce that having inadequate sleep really does heighten a person's smell which cements the reason behind feeling hungry when tired. Two areas in the brain, the piriform cortex and the orbitofrontal cortex, that are associated with olfaction (sense of smell) is seen to have greater brain activity.

However, it only applies to the aroma of food. The non-food smell did not trigger any spike.

The reason behind feeling hungry when tired also explains the inclination to make poor and unhealthy choices because of sleep deprivation. Equipped with this knowledge, it can be easier for people to realize the significance of giving their bodies and minds enough rest.

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