Multitalented vaudevillian Jimmy Durante (1893-1980) often made fun of his oversized nose by calling it his “schnozzola.”
He also loved to declare, “The nose knows.”
But Jimmy probably didn't have a clue that the nose might know a bit too much if you're sleep-deprived.
When you're tired, you may seek out high-energy, calorie-dense foods — and it's your nose that tracks them down.
But how does sleep deprivation sharpen your sense of smell? It happens in the brain.
Using an MRI scan, researchers discovered that two parts of the brain that control food intake don't communicate very well if you've only had four hours of sleep.
When sleep-deprived participants were presented with an array of food choices, the foods that smelled most desirable were those loaded with fats and sugars.
In the U.S., 30% of people sleep less than six hours a night. That's around the same percentage of Americans who are obese.
If you’re struggling with your weight and are chronically sleep-deprived, we've got a plan for you: Train your nose to love healthy foods.
Start with what you like. Garlicky salmon burgers or salad greens, for instance. Get into the aromas.
Then tickle your schnozzola with foods that seem more exotic to you. Fennel or cod, perhaps. You can learn to sniff out what's good for you.
In addition, go to bed earlier and make your bedroom quiet (no TV or digital stuff). You'll feel better and shed a few pounds.