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After a sleep-deprived night, burgers, pizza, donuts and other high-calorie choices were more popular among participants. The scans showed that the brain's frontal lobe, the control center responsible for complex decision-making, was impaired when it was deprived of a good night's sleep. On the flipside, they showed increased activity in the brain's reward centers. These two activities combined led participants to choose unhealthier foods than they normally would after a solid night's sleep.
So when you're tired and bleary-eyed, your ability to make smart decisions goes out the window, and instead you give in to your impulsive desire for a reward. Which in this case is that glazed donut or bacon cheeseburger with fries or duck fillet recipes that you normally would stop yourself from inhaling.