Here's Another Good Reason To Sleep For Longer!

According to researchers at King's College London, Sleep-deprived people who sleep for longer in bed are less likely to pick sugary treats.

The remaining volunteers did not receive a consultation and were told to go about their normal behaviors and keep their regular schedules.

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For seven days following the consultation, participants kept sleep and estimated food diaries and a wrist-worn motion sensor which measured exactly how long participants slept, as well as time spent in bed before falling asleep. Three of the participants achieved a weekly average of more than 7 hours sleep a night. This reduction is subconscious and at the moment it's not really clear what's behind the connection, but the results suggest that sleep extension may become an easy and feasible way for adults to help cut down on how much sugar they eat. "Furthermore, there is also the theory that sleep deprivation may increase activity of reward mechanisms in the brain which govern the desire for highly palatable foods, particularly during times of emotional stress". This advice was meant to help them boost the amount of sleep they each got by 90 minutes a night.

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They found that when people slept longer, they ate about 10 grams less sugar each day than average levels of sugar intake. 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.

Dr. Wendy Hall, from the Department of Nutritional Sciences at King's College London, and team recently completed a pilot study in which they tested whether or not a simple intervention could increase sleep duration in a group of adults. During this session, the sleep extension group were given at least four helpful hints to lengthen their sleep time, including information about reducing caffeine intake - having a coffee just before bedtime makes it harder to drop off (who knew?) - and setting up relaxing routines, such as a warm bath and some Kenny G. We have shown that sleeping customs can also be changed using relative simplicity in healthy older people utilizing a lively approach. But it's significant in that it shows how easy, low-priced strategies can really make a difference, says Hall.

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

Those who stay in bed longer were found to consume 2½ fewer teaspoons of sugar per day - around 40 calories.


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