Researchers have blamed lack of shuteye for exploding obesity epidemic in Britain.
Scientists discovered that a poor nights sleep could trigger a vicious cycle of unhealthy snacking throughout the day.
Tiredness and lack of concentration were found to make people crave for sugary and fatty foods to compensate.
But experts warn that this kind of sugar rush can lead to a sharp peak in blood sugar levels,swiftly followed by a slump – which in turn encourages people to seek out yet more snacks such as biscuits and crisps.
Sleep deprivation enhances neuronal activity in certain areas of the brain linked to our innate reward system, the Daily Express quoted Miguel Toribio-Mateas,chairman of the British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy,as saying.
Lack of sleep also seems to have an effect on glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity which determines how well our body is able to metabolise energy from foods containing carbohydrates.
This is significant as impaired insulin sensitivity has been related to food cravings for more sugary foods, Toribio-Mateas said.
The study found that breakfast was the most important meal of the day as it sends a reassuring message to the brain,making people feel fuller for longer.
Breakfast for weary office workers should contain a source of good quality protein, he said.
Studies have shown meat or eggs is one of the best ways of not feeling that mid-morning slump in energy which tends to be accompanied by the need to snack, he added.