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Research results clearly show that our calorie intake increases when we are sleep deprived. We also burn more calories per day if we stay awake longer. But the increase in our calorie intake accounts for more than the extra amount we burn. If we don’t get enough sleep, we start to crave sweet and fatty foods. This is likely because lack of sleep affects the part of our brains that regulates food preferences, but the specific mechanism is not yet fully understood.
Reference materials: Taheri, Shahrad, et al. “Short sleep duration is associated with reduced leptin, elevated ghrelin, and increased body mass index.” PLoS medicine 1.3 (2004): e62.
Greer, S., Goldstein, A. & Walker, M. The impact of sleep deprivation on food desire in the human brain. Nat Commun 4, 2259 (2013).