News Worms
News Worms


Sweet dreams: a good night's sleep helps you cut sugar

Sweet dreams: a good night's sleep helps you cut sugar

A new study has found adults who up their sleep report eating less sugary foods and generally making better food choices.

86 percent of the people in the sleep consultation group increased their amount of time in bed, and half increased their actual time spent asleep, from 52 to nearly 90 minutes.

The participants undertook a 45-minute sleep consultation, kept sleep diaries, and wore motion sensors that detected exactly how long they slept for, and how long they spent in bed before falling asleep.

As many as 86 per cent of those who received sleep advice increased time spent in bed and half increased their sleep duration (ranging from 52 minutes to almost 90 minutes). On the other side, they also selected another 21 participants, but they did not get intervention in their sleep patterns, named that group as the control group.

But one of the common side effects of consistently not getting enough sleep is putting on weight.

The study builds on earlier KCL research into how your sleep affects what you eat: a 2016 paper determined just one night of poor sleep subconsciously compels you to eat an average 385 calories more the next day. Their added sugar intake reduced by 10 grams the next day when the team compared the amount with the amount of sugar they consumed at the beginning of the test. The investigators noticed trends for low ingestion of overall carbs reported through the sleep extension group. There were no significant differences shown in the control group.

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

Half were told to avoid caffeine before bed, stay off smartphones in the bedroom and not go to bed hungry.

Researchers at King's College London conducted the study by recruiting 42 healthy people of normal weight who were a little sleep deprived - getting less than seven hours of sleep a night.

Researcher Dr. Wendy Hall said it "suggests a simple change in lifestyle may help people consume healthier diets".

Experts said the "simple lifestyle intervention" led to healthier diets as people are attracted to junk food when exhausted and have less time to eat bad grub if they are asleep.

"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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