Getting a good night's sleep every night is essential for maintaining health. According to a recent article in Live Science, lack of proper sleep can lead to a variety of health issues, including obesity and a variety of ailments, like cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes
A new study conducted by King's College in the UK suggests that getting a good night's sleep can reduce sugar cravings. The phenomenon has great implications for the link between healthy sleep and a healthy diet.
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The study involved two groups of 21 participants each. One group received medical advice on how to extend their time asleep by about an hour and a half. The advice included avoiding caffeine and not going to bed either too full or too hungry. The second group received no advice. The two groups were asked to record both their sleep and dietary patterns for a week. They also wore motion sensors that recorded not only the time they spent in bed but also the time it took for them to fall asleep and how long they actually slept.
The group that received the sleep advice and thus extended their time asleep recorded a 10 gram decrease in the amount of sugar intake the next day. They also recorded a decrease in the consumption of carbohydrates as compared to the control group.
One reason that the first group started eating healthier was that the lifestyle changes that contributed to getting longer, better sleep also involved consuming a better diet. The study buttresses studies that demonstrated the relationship between shorter, poorer-quality sleep and poorer food choices.
Longer, better-quality sleep causes one to feel more rested and enhances one's well-being and health. It also seems that the lifestyle changes that help one get better sleep lead to a better diet with the related improvements in physical health.