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More sleep = less sugars in your diet

Imagine: you are a short sleeper and you normally sleep 5-7 hours a night. You are willing to boost that limited amount of sleep by changing your way of life. For example, you stop using caffeine in the evening, and you do not sit right in front of a screen anymore just before you go to bed. You therefore not only sleep more, but - without knowing it - also start eating healthier without even noticing.

Nutritional scientists at King's College London disvided 42 short sleepers into 2 groups. One of them was the control group [Control]. The subjects in that group did not change their habits.

The other group was the experimental group [Sleep extension]. The subjects in that group received a dozen tips to improve their sleep. As a result, the amount of sleep per day in this group increased by 47 minutes.

After 3 weeks, the subjects kept a nutritional diary for a week, in which they scrupulously wrote down what and how much they ate and drank.

The subjects in the sleep extension group ate fewer sugars than the subjects in the control group. In the experimental groep the intake of carbohydrates in general and fat decreased as well.

More sleep = less sugars in your diet

"To our knowledge, this is the only randomized controlled trial to date to investigate sleep extension by using a personalized behavioral approach in healthy adult short sleepers", the researchers wrote. "It was conducted under free-living conditions and presents ecologically valid evidence."

"We conclude that a tailored behavioral sleep extension intervention targeting sleep hygiene is feasible in healthy, free-living young adults, which shows the utility of including sleep hygiene guidelines in public health messages."

"We also showed that sleep extension may reduce reported intake of free sugars, consequently improving diet quality and supporting the theory that diet may be a key mediator in the relation between short sleep and metabolic disease."

"The results of this trial need to be confirmed by using methods less prone to bias, necessitating inpatient dietary assessment or biomarker studies."

"This trial did not aim to determine the long-term impact of sleeping habits on weight change. Larger and longer-term randomized controlled trials are needed to examine the effects of continued adherence to sleep hygiene advice and preservation of sleep quality on energy balance, particularly in 'at risk' populations."

Am J Clin Nutr 2018, nqx030.

Getting enough sleep gives better diet results 20.12.2012
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An hour more sleep reduces fat percentage by three percent 23.02.2009

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