REM sleep loss and the desire for junk food

It is not well understood what role sleep loss plays in affecting areas of the brain that control the desire to consume unhealthy foods. REM sleep is a unique phase of sleep in mammals that is closely associated with dreaming and characterized by random eye movement and almost complete paralysis of the body. We found that REM sleep loss leads to increased consumption of unhealthy foods, specifically sucrose and fat. We used a new method to produce REM sleep loss in mice along with a chemical-genetic technique to block prefrontal cortex neurons and the behaviors they mediate. As a result, we discovered that inhibiting these neurons reversed the effect of REM sleep loss on sucrose consumption while having no effect on fat consumption. 

(McEown K.,  et al., eLIFE, 5:e20269, 2016). 

 睡眠不足と食欲の関係は明らかではありません。我々はレム睡眠不足が糖分や脂肪の摂取量を促進することに気づきました。また、前頭前皮質の抑制がその糖分摂取を抑えることを見出しました (McEown K.,  et al., eLIFE, 5:e20269, 2016)。 

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