For the next seven days, all participants kept sleep diaries, recorded what they ate, and wore wrist monitors to measure how long they slept. A study into extending sleep unexpectedly found that the recommended eight hours a night could also improve your diet, by significantly reducing sugar intake. 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.
Accomplishing that lofty goal can be a real challenge, especially if you have a sweet tooth, but new research suggests that calming your sugar cravings might be as simple as getting a bit more sleep. Three participants achieved a weekly average within the recommended seven to nine hours.
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When the process was continued for a month, the researchers saw that the participants had cut down their sugar intake by an average of 9.6 grams a day.
The group has provided a chart which contained some suggestions to get better sleep.
The food diaries revealed more sleep seemingly led to less sugar: the sleep extension group dropped their intake of free sugars (which generally means sugar added to products by food manufacturers) by nearly 10g.
"Sleep duration and quality is an area of increasing public health concern and has been linked as a risk factor for various conditions".
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"Our results also suggest that increasing time in bed for an hour or so longer may lead to healthier food choices", she said. No changes were seen in the control group that maintained their normal sleeping hours. Half of these were given help to sleep longer, receiving four personalised tips such as avoiding caffeine, establishing a relaxing routine or not going to bed too full or hungry.
'The fact that extending sleep led to a reduction in intake of free sugars, by which we mean the sugars that are added to foods by manufacturers or in cooking at home as well as sugars in honey, syrups, and fruit juice, suggests that a simple change in lifestyle may really help people to consume healthier diets, ' principal investigator Dr. Wendy Hall noted.
This isn't the first study to link diet and sleep.
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