By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) – Ever crave junk food after a sleepless night? Researchers from Northwestern think they have figured out why. We can blame our noses.

When we are sleep deprived we find it harder to resist calorie-dense, high-fat foods like pizza and chocolate. After studying the food choices of 29 adults after a bad night’s sleep, scientists say we can blame it on our sense of smell.

They found the olfactory system goes into overdrive, making it easier for the brain to identify food odors. Then other areas of the brain which receive food signals are blunted, leading you to choose foods with richer energy signals, like French fries.

How do you fix this? Other than getting more sleep, be more mindful of how your nose dictates your food choices, and if you’re tired, maybe avoid passing by a pizza shop.

Dr. Mallika Marshall


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