Adequate Sleep Can Help Reduce Sugar Intake

A person sleeping

Not-so-sweet dreams Peter Glass Getty

A study by researchers at King's College in London found that getting the adequate amount of sleep each night can lead you to eat fewer junk foods that are loaded with sugars and fats. Apart from this, it can also develop other health issues like diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and other obesity and cardiometabolic diseases, the researchers mentioned in the study.

Study participants in the group whose sleep was extended underwent a 45-minute sleep consultation which aimed to extend their time in bed by up to 1.5 hours per night.

Half of the group (21 participants) received expert tips via a personal consultation on how to improve the amount of sleep they achieve each night.

And they found that 86% of the group who slept longer managed to increase their sleep time by an average of 21 minutes - and after a month of better sleeping, cut their sugar intake by nearly 10g - a third of their daily allowance. A control group received no intervention in their sleep patterns.

According to the researchers, more than a third of United Kingdom adults don't get enough sleep. There were no significant diet differences shown in the group who did not change their sleeping habits during the study. They were asked to avoid, caffeine, establishing a relaxing routine or not going to bed too full or hungry. The subjects were also slightly sleep-deprived, closing their lids for between five and less than seven hours each evening. After a month of better sleeping, people cut their sugar intake by an average of 9.6 grams a day - around a third of the recommended daily allowance, or about half a chocolate bar. They also wore a motion-sensor on their wrists that measured their sleep and how look it took them to get to sleep after getting in bed.

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So if you're trying to get healthy or trying to lose a bit of weight, maybe start off seeing just how much kip you're getting and work from there.

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".

Sleep is a modifiable risk factor for various conditions including obesity and cardio-metabolic disease, researchers said.

"This further strengthens the link between short sleep and poorer quality diets that has already been observed by previous studies", Khatib said.

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