A new study recently conducted by scientists at King’s College London in the United Kingdom has suggested that sleeping for longer each night could help in reducing the intake of sugary foods as well as leads to a healthier diet.
Not getting the recommended 7 hours sleep leads to obesity with the figures which suggests one in three of Americans are not getting enough sleep, as per the Center for Disease Control (CDC). According to the study published in the journal the ‘American Journal of Clinical Nutrition’ finds that missing recommended minimum 7-ish hours of nightly shut-eye is linked to health diseases such as cardiometabolic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Dr. Wendy Hall from the Department of Nutritional Sciences at King’s College London and the team has completed an investigation in which they have tested if a simple intervention could increase sleep duration in adults.
21 healthy short-sleepers were undertaken a 45 minute consultation and during this session, the sleep extension group were given four helpful hints to lengthen their sleep hours— including information about reducing caffeine intake i.e. having a coffee just before bedtime makes it harder to drop off and setting up relaxing routines, such as a warm bath and for seven days, the participants have kept their sleep diaries. Approximately, 86 percent of the sleep extension group increased their bedtime and around half have increased their sleep duration by 52–90 minutes but three members of the group have hit the weekly recommended average of 7–9 hours of sleep each night. Haya Al-Khatib, lead researcher from the Department of Nutritional Sciences has said that the duration of sleep and quality is an area for increasing public concern towards health and has been linked as a risk factor for various conditions.
They have shown that sleep habits can be changed with relative ease in the healthy adults using a personalized approach. Haya said that their results have suggested that increasing bedtime for an hour or so longer may lead to healthier food choices and will further strengthen the link between short sleep and poorer quality diets which have been observed in the previous studies. They have hoped for investigating their findings further with longer-term studies by examining nutrient intake as well as continued adherence to sleep extension behaviors in more detail, particularly in the people at the risk of obesity or cardiovascular disease.