Washington: A new research has revealed that brain activity can predict increased fat intake following sleep deprivation.
The Penn Medicine study found that not only do people consume more food following a night of total sleep deprivation, but they also consume more fat and less carbohydrates and a region of the brain known as the salience network is what may lead them to eat more fat.
Senior author Hengyi Rao said that they wanted to uncover whether changes in regional brain function had an impact on our eating behavior following sleep deprivation and this work has implications for the approximately 15 million Americans who work the evening shift, night shift, rotating shifts, or other employer arranged irregular schedules.
The study showed that healthy adults consumed a greater percentage of calories from fat and a lower percentage of calories from carbohydrates during the day following total sleep deprivation.
The researchers also found that sleep deprived subjects displayed increased connectivity within the "salience network," which is thought to play a role in determining contextually dependent behavioral responses to stimuli that can be either internal or external, and is one of several key brain networks that carry out various aspects of brain function.
Moreover, increased connectivity in the salience network, which is located toward the front of the brain and consists of three sections, the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, bilateral putamen, and bilateral anterior insula, correlated positively with the percentage of calories consumed from fat and negatively correlated with the percentage of carbohydrates after sleep deprivation.
Rao added that they believe this is the first study to examine the connection between brain network connectivity and actual macronutrient intake after baseline sleep and after total sleep deprivation, adding that though this study examined the effects of acute total sleep deprivation, similar changes may occur in response to the chronic partial sleep restriction that is so prevalent in today's society.
The new findings are published in Scientific Reports....