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Inadequate Sleep Boosts Appetite

Brian Turner

Posted on May 04 2018

Inadequate sleep stimulates the endocannabinoid system (eCB)— a group of nervous system receptors that affect appetite, pain sensations, mood and memory. The system triggers the psychoactive effects of marijuana. Erin Hanlon from the Sleep and Metabolism and Health Center at the University of Chicago found that sleep deprivation— 4.5 hours per night for four nights— increased secretion of endocannabinoids, appetite and hunger compared to normal sleep (8.5 hours per night). Inadequate sleep increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, weakens the immune system, impairs mental function and increases impulsive, risk-taking and addictive behaviors. It also promotes overeating, and eating unhealthy foods. (Sleep, 39:653-664)