"What we have discovered is that high-level brain regions required for complex judgments and decisions become blunted by a lack of sleep, while more primal brain structures that control motivation and desire are amplified," said Matthew Walker, a UC Berkeley professor of psychology and neuroscience and senior author of the study published August 6 in the journal Nature Communications.To make this a bit Freudian, we're down to our child-like, demanding id, and we want sugar now, dammit! So are we doomed to eat the donut? And then the cookies and ice cream and candy after that? No, there are ways to curb our sugar and junk food demons.
Block Sugar CravingsHere are some ideas to curb your cravings when you are waking up from a sleepless night.
- Drink water. Often a little hydration will put some perspective on our cravings and keep the munchies at bay.
- Eat combined foods. Mix together protein, carbs, and fat. Think about those tasty eggs with a touch of olive oil, some sauteed onions, and a slice of whole grain toast. It will keep you full for hours.
- Eat three meals and two snacks. Don't give yourself a chance to get hungry and reach for the sugar. Have three meals and two snacks planned out for the day so you'll know what to eat and you won't have the chance to get hungry.
- Eat fruit. Fruit has naturally occurring sugar, but it also has fiber, so you'll get a bit of sweet and a bit of satiety, and that could be enough to satisfy you.
- Don't use fake sugar. Artificial sweetners will trigger your sugar cravings even more! Avoid them at all costs. But you should anyway ... just eat real food.