Go to bed early

If you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll eat more potato chips and chocolate.

That’s what researchers at the University of California discovered when they scanned the brains of volunteers. They asked the volunteers to look at pictures of different foods after they had slept eight hours and then after a night when they had not slept.

When they were sleep-deprived, the volunteers were more likely to choose high-calorie foods. In fact, their brains showed more activity in the region that governs the desire for food and less activity in the region that governs decision-making.

“Sleeping,” says researcher Matthew Walker, “is the most effective thing people can do every day to reset their brain and body health.”

We read about this study in the August 30, 2013, issue of The Week, and it was first reported in The New York Times.

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