Sleeping Less May Lead To Poor Diet: Says Study

13 January, 2018, 01:55 | Author: Evan Mason
  • There is a growing link between sleep quality obesity and metabolic diseases

Study author Wendy Hall, a senior lecturer at King's College London who specializes in diabetes and nutritional sciences told Newsweek that this study alone can not determine whether or not sleep directly caused decreased sugar intake, but she has an idea why the two behaviors may be linked. Their goal was to extend each volunteer's nightly rest by up 1.5 hours. They conclude that it might take a little more time to get into a new sleep routine; Kenny G can only do so much.

Food diaries kept throughout the trial showed that by the end of the week, they were naturally eating less sugar and carbs than at the start. While one group received advice on improving their sleeping habits, another group was left without any expert intervention.

All of the participants were asked to record their sleep and dietary patterns for seven days. They also wore a motion sensor on their wrists that measured exactly how long they were asleep, as well as time spent in bed before falling asleep.

The study was relatively small in scale - only 42 adults participated in it - but the results are actually quite interesting. These extended sleep patterns were associated with an average reduction in the intake of of 10 grams a day. These individuals had a less craving for sugar and carbohydrates compared to those who stuck to their earlier sleep routines.

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The results showed that 86 percent of the group who received sleep advice managed to increase their time in bed by an average of 55.

Commenting on the findings, the principal investigator, Dr Wendy Hall, from the Department of Nutritional Sciences, said: "The fact that extending sleep led to a reduction in intake of free sugars.suggests that a simple change in lifestyle may really help people to consume healthier diets". They also included other sugary substances such as fruit juices and honey in their assessment. It suggests that as simple a lifestyle change as getting more sleep can help people to consume healthier diets.

Haya Al Khatib, lead researcher of the study and a professor from in the Department of Nutritional sciences at King's College London, added that only raising total bed time duration by an hour or so was necessary to making better and healthier food choices. "This further strengthens the link between short sleep and poorer quality diets that has already been observed by previous studies".

These participants were all people who previously slept less than seven hours a night, the recommended minimum time adults should sleep. Most of us know that we feel very bad if we don't get enough, yet hardly any of us manage the recommended 7-ish hours that we need.

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