We've all done it: rolled into work after an unscheduled Netflix binge the night before, craving the delicious comfort that a carb-heavy breakfast can bring. A double shot almond latte just won't cut it this time.
Thanks to the beauty of shared human experience (and the fact that we all bitch about it while wolfing down bacon and egg rolls at our desk - "It's not a hangover, we promise," - we all know that this is a legit thing.
Studies in the past have revealed that a lack of sleep weakens our resolve to resist cravings for high-calorie foods. This was followed up with another study that discovered that basically, when we are tired, our brain produces higher levels of a naturally occurring chemical that mimics the one cannabis gives you when you get the munchies.
Last week, at the annual meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, scientists suggested that adults who are working with four hours of sleep show much higher brain activity in two areas pertaining to olfaction in response to food smells like potato chips and cinnamon rolls than they did when they had eight hours of sleep - basically, when well-rested. The spike wasn't seen in non-food odours, so this is purely a snack thang.
Being that smell is one of the main ways we experience and enjoy our food, your superpower nose (when sleep-deprived) makes everything more tempting.
Insomniacs, can we suggest investing in noseplugs? Or simply a better nights sleep.