Science and Journalism in Society

Brandeis University JOUR 130B

How Your Poor Sleeping Habits Can Influence Your Eating Habits (Like the Munchies)

Ever had the munchies? Rumor has it that you can get them without consuming marijuana via sleep deprivation. If you’re trying not to gain weight, you may want to consider your poor sleeping habits. After a poor night’s sleep, your body is more likely to crave sweet, salty, and high-fat snack food, and more of it, too.

What we call the “munchies” actually comes from a chemical response to marijuana on the brain. Marijuana throws off the balance of the endocannabinoid system and its signals (such asendocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol, or 2-AG), but so can your body’s lack of sleep. 2-AG levels seem to rise when your body is sleep deprived, causing you to be hungrier than usual. In other words, the combination of marijuana with a lack of sleep can be extremely counterproductive to anyone seeking to lose weight or even maintain it.

A new study conducted by Erin Hanlon further indicates that sleep-restricted subjects showed 2-AG levels up to 33% higher than non sleep-restricted subjects. These subjects are also seen to choose snacks that contain 50% more calories than those than non sleep-restricted subjects choose. A sleep-deprived body may also simply be craving more energy, since it doesn’t have much as a result of its lack of sleep.

Sleep-deprivation’s effects mimic those of the “munchies” that marijuana can give you. Rethink your sleeping habits if you’d like to snack less, and be aware on how poor sleeping habits can influence your body as much as a drug.



1 Comment

  1. cool way to open up a discussion about sleep deprivation and munchies. cheers!

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