January 22, 2018

Sleeping for longer may lead to healthier diet

11 January 2018, 03:26 | Winifred Adams

Not-so-sweet dreams Peter Glass Getty

A person sleeping

Over the next week, participants wore motion sensors to bed and kept diaries detailing their sleep patterns and daily diets.

Sleeping for longer every night could help you to reduce the intake of sugary foods and lead a healthier diet, suggests a study.

There was some evidence that sleep quality deteriorated in the sleep extension group, which the researchers attribute to a change of routine.

This may be why people who do not get enough sleep often put on weight. On top of that, they had less of a craving for carbohydrates than those who maintained their existing sleep schedules.

Of the focus group, half of the participants were given tips on how to sleep for longer which included reducing caffeine intake and establishing a night time routine. However, most research until now has either been observational, leading to the possibility, for instance, that obesity causes poor sleep rather than the other way around, or has looked at the effects of sleep deprivation on appetite. Researchers split the volunteers into two groups and trained one of the groups in best practices for sleep. A new small study from the United Kingdom suggests that may be the case.

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Lead researcher, Haya Al Khatib, from the Department of Nutritional Sciences commented: "Sleep duration and quality is an area of increasing public health concern and has been linked as a risk factor for various conditions".

The results showed that the participants who increased the amount of sleep they got each night reduced their added sugar intake by as much as 10 grams the next day compared with the amount of sugar they consumed at the beginning of the study.

Increasing time in bed for just an hour or so could impact the food choices we make, Khatib also notes. The intake of free sugar includes the sugar which is added to foods by manufacturers or while cooking at home.

The randomised controlled trial, which can be published inside the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, seemed over the feasibility of rising sleeping at adults who on average slept less than the recommended minimum for older people of hours.

He continued that they hope to further examine nutrient intake and sleep patterns, especially in longer-term studies and populations that are at a higher risk of obesity or cardiovascular problems. This further strengthens the link between short sleep and poorer quality diets that has already been observed by previous studies. Three of those participants were able to reach recommended seven to nine hours of sleep on daily average.

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